Young, John; Chapman, Katie; Nixon, Jane; Patel, Anita; Holloway, Ivana; Mellish, Kirste; Anwar, Shamaila; Breen, Rachel; Knapp, Martin; Murray, Jenni; Farrin, Amanda
Background and Purpose— We developed a new postdischarge system of care comprising a structured assessment covering longer-term problems experienced by patients with stroke and their carers, linked to evidence-based treatment algorithms and reference guides (the longer-term stroke care system of care) to address the poor longer-term recovery experienced by many patients with stroke. Methods— A pragmatic, multicentre, cluster randomized controlled trial of this system of care. Eligible patients referred to community-based Stroke Care Coordinators were randomized to receive the new system of care or usual practice. The primary outcome was improved patient psychological well-being (General Health Questionnaire-12) at 6 months; secondary outcomes included functional outcomes for patients, carer outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Follow-up was through self-completed postal questionnaires at 6 and 12 months. Results— Thirty-two stroke services were randomized (29 participated); 800 patients (399 control; 401 intervention) and 208 carers (100 control; 108 intervention) were recruited. In intention to treat analysis, the adjusted difference in patient General Health Questionnaire-12 mean scores at 6 months was −0.6 points (95% confidence interval, −1.8 to 0.7; P=0.394) indicating no evidence of statistically significant difference between the groups. Costs of Stroke Care Coordinator inputs, total health and social care costs, and quality-adjusted life year gains at 6 months, 12 months, and over the year were similar between the groups. Conclusions— This robust trial demonstrated no benefit in clinical or cost-effectiveness outcomes associated with the new system of care compared with usual Stroke Care Coordinator practice. Clinical Trial Registration— URL: http://www.controlled-trials.com. Unique identifier: ISRCTN 67932305. PMID:26152298
Stewart, J.; Beyer, B. K.; Chadwick, K.; De Schaepdrijver, L.; Desai, M.; Enright, B.; Foster, W.; Hui, J. Y.; Moffat, G. J.; Tornesi, B.; Van Malderen, K.; Wiesner, L.; Chen, C. L.
The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Technical Committee sponsored a pharmaceutical industry survey on current industry practices for contraception use during clinical trials. The objectives of the survey were to improve our understanding of the current industry practices for contraception requirements in clinical trials, the governance processes set up to promote consistency and/or compliance with contraception requirements, and the effectiveness of current contraception practices in preventing pregnancies during clinical trials. Opportunities for improvements in current practices were also considered. The survey results from 12 pharmaceutical companies identified significant variability among companies with regard to contraception practices and governance during clinical trials. This variability was due primarily to differences in definitions, areas of scientific uncertainty or misunderstanding, and differences in company approaches to enrollment in clinical trials. The survey also revealed that few companies collected data in a manner that would allow a retrospective understanding of the reasons for failure of birth control during clinical trials. In this article, suggestions are made for topics where regulatory guidance or scientific publications could facilitate best practice. These include provisions for a pragmatic definition of women of childbearing potential, guidance on how animal data can influence the requirements for male and female birth control, evidence-based guidance on birth control and pregnancy testing regimes suitable for low- and high-risk situations, plus practical methods to ascertain the risk of drug-drug interactions with hormonal contraceptives. PMID:27042398
Probst, Pascal; Grummich, Kathrin; Harnoss, Julian C.; Hüttner, Felix J.; Jensen, Katrin; Braun, Silvia; Kieser, Meinhard; Ulrich, Alexis; Büchler, Markus W.; Diener, Markus K.
Abstract This systematic review was performed to investigate the ethical justification, methodological quality, validity and safety of placebo controls in randomized placebo-controlled surgical trials. Central, MEDLINE, and EMBASE were systematically searched to identify randomized controlled trials comparing a surgical procedure to a placebo. “Surgical procedure” was defined as a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments. Placebo was defined as a blinded sham operation involving no change to the structural anatomy and without an expectable physiological response in the target body compartment. Ten randomized placebo-controlled controlled surgical trials were included, all of them published in high-ranking medical journals (mean impact factor: 20.1). Eight of 10 failed to show statistical superiority of the experimental intervention. Serious adverse events did not differ between the groups (rate ratio [RR] 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92–2.06, P = 0.46). None of the trials had a high risk of bias in any domain. The ethical justification for the use of a placebo control remained unclear in 2 trials. Placebo-controlled surgical trials are feasible and provide high-quality data on efficacy of surgical treatments. The surgical placebo entails a considerable risk for study participants. Consequently, a placebo should be used only if justified by the clinical question and by methodological necessity. Based on the current evidence, a pragmatic proposal for the use of placebo controls in future randomized controlled surgical trials is made. PMID:27124060
Stokes, E. Joan; Whitby, J. L.
Six trials of quality control material sent in the form of artificial specimens are reported. A method of assessment using a computer for complex results, including antibiotic sensitivity tests, was employed. The trials were successful in showing the need for a comprehensive service and in bringing to light by this method a wide variety of errors. Images PMID:4946416
Mayo-Wilson, Evan; Grant, Sean; Montgomery, Paul
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly used to evaluate programs and interventions in order to inform education policy and practice. High quality reports of these RCTs are needed for interested readers to understand the rigor of the study, the interventions tested, and the context in which the evaluation took place (Mayo-Wilson et…
Gallagher, H. Alix; Roschelle, Jeremy; Feng, Mingyu
The objective of this study was to look across strategies used in a wide range of studies to build a framework for researchers to use in conceptualizing the recruitment process. This paper harvests lessons learned across 19 randomized controlled trials in K-12 school settings conducted by a leading research organization to identify strategies that…
The first reported controlled human trial was conducted 2500 years ago by the Biblical judge Gideon Ben Yoash, who challenged God's Angel: "I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that Thou wilt deliver Israel through me, as Thou hast spoken". In the control part of the trial he asked the Angel to keep the wool dry while the ground around it will be soaked with morning dew. It is unfortunate that these principles were not practiced for thousands of years thereafter, as many medical challenges could have been solved earlier.
Sacks, H S; Berrier, J; Reitman, D; Ancona-Berk, V A; Chalmers, T C
A new type of research, termed meta-analysis, attempts to analyze and combine the results of previous reports. We found 86 meta-analyses of reports of randomized controlled trials in the English-language literature. We evaluated the quality of these meta-analyses, using a scoring method that considered 23 items in six major areas--study design, combinability, control of bias, statistical analysis, sensitivity analysis, and application of results. Only 24 meta-analyses (28 percent) addressed all six areas, 31 (36 percent) addressed five, 25 (29 percent) addressed four, 5 (6 percent) addressed three, and 1 (1 percent) addressed two. Of the 23 individual items, between 1 and 14 were addressed satisfactorily (mean +/- SD, 7.7 +/- 2.7). We conclude that an urgent need exists for improved methods in literature searching, quality evaluation of trials, and synthesizing of the results.
Fennis, W.M.; Kuijs, R.H.; Roeters, F.J.; Creugers, N.H.; Kreulen, C.M.
The objective of this randomized control trial was to compare the five-year clinical performance of direct and indirect resin composite restorations replacing cusps. In 157 patients, 176 restorations were made to restore maxillary premolars with Class II cavities and one missing cusp. Ninety-two direct and 84 indirect resin composite restorations were placed by two operators, following a strict protocol. Treatment technique and operator were assigned randomly. Follow-up period was at least 4.5 yrs. Survival rates were determined with time to reparable failure and complete failure as endpoints. Kaplan-Meier five-year survival rates were 86.6% (SE 0.27%) for reparable failure and 87.2% (SE 0.27%) for complete failure. Differences between survival rates of direct and indirect restorations [89.9% (SE 0.34%) vs. 83.2% (SE 0.42%) for reparable failure and 91.2% (SE 0.32%) vs. 83.2% (SE 0.42%) for complete failure] were not statistically significant (p = .23 for reparable failure; p = .15 for complete failure). Mode of failure was predominantly adhesive. The results suggest that direct and indirect techniques provide comparable results over the long term (trial registration number: ISRCTN29200848). PMID:24155264
Barbara, Giovanni; Cremon, Cesare; Annese, Vito; Basilisco, Guido; Bazzoli, Franco; Bellini, Massimo; Benedetti, Antonio; Benini, Luigi; Bossa, Fabrizio; Buldrini, Paola; Cicala, Michele; Cuomo, Rosario; Germanà, Bastianello; Molteni, Paola; Neri, Matteo; Rodi, Marcello; Saggioro, Alfredo; Scribano, Maria Lia; Vecchi, Maurizio; Zoli, Giorgio; Corinaldesi, Roberto; Stanghellini, Vincenzo
Objective Low-grade intestinal inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of IBS. In this trial, we aimed at evaluating the efficacy and safety of mesalazine in patients with IBS. Design We conducted a phase 3, multicentre, tertiary setting, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with Rome III confirmed IBS. Patients were randomly assigned to either mesalazine, 800 mg, or placebo, three times daily for 12 weeks, and were followed for additional 12 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was satisfactory relief of abdominal pain/discomfort for at least half of the weeks of the treatment period. The key secondary endpoint was satisfactory relief of overall IBS symptoms. Supportive analyses were also performed classifying as responders patients with a percentage of affirmative answers of at least 75% or >75% of time. Results A total of 185 patients with IBS were enrolled from 21 centres. For the primary endpoint, the responder patients were 68.6% in the mesalazine group versus 67.4% in the placebo group (p=0.870; 95% CI −12.8 to 15.1). In explorative analyses, with the 75% rule or >75% rule, the percentage of responders was greater in the mesalazine group with a difference over placebo of 11.6% (p=0.115; 95% CI −2.7% to 26.0%) and 5.9% (p=0.404; 95% CI −7.8% to 19.4%), respectively, although these differences were not significant. For the key secondary endpoint, overall symptoms improved in the mesalazine group and reached a significant difference of 15.1% versus placebo (p=0.032; 95% CI 1.5% to 28.7%) with the >75% rule. Conclusions Mesalazine treatment was not superior than placebo on the study primary endpoint. However, a subgroup of patients with IBS showed a sustained therapy response and benefits from a mesalazine therapy. Trial registration number ClincialTrials.gov number, NCT00626288. PMID:25533646
Shah, Krupa N.; Majeed, Zahraa; Yoruk, Yilmaz B.; Yang, Hongmei; Hilton, Tiffany N.; McMahon, James M.; Hall, William J.; Walck, Donna; Luque, Amneris E.; Ryan, Richard M.
Objective HIV-infected older adults (HOA) are at risk of functional decline. Interventions promoting physical activity that can attenuate functional decline and are easily translated into the HOA community are of high priority. We conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate whether a physical activity counseling intervention based on self-determination theory (SDT) improves physical function, autonomous motivation, depression and the quality of life (QOL) in HOA. Methods A total of 67 community-dwelling HOA with mild-to-moderate functional limitations were randomized to one of two groups: a physical activity counseling group or the usual care control group. We used SDT to guide the development of the experimental intervention. Outcome measures that were collected at baseline and final study visits included a battery of physical function tests, levels of physical activity, autonomous motivation, depression, and QOL. Results The study participants were similar in their demographic and clinical characteristics in both the treatment and control groups. Overall physical performance, gait speed, measures of endurance and strength, and levels of physical activity improved in the treatment group compared to the control group (p<0.05). Measures of autonomous regulation such as identified regulation, and measures of depression and QOL improved significantly in the treatment group compared to the control group (p<0.05). Across the groups, improvement in intrinsic regulation and QOL correlated with an improvement in physical function (p<0.05). Conclusion Our findings suggest that a physical activity counseling program grounded in SDT can improve physical function, autonomous motivation, depression, and QOL in HOA with functional limitations. PMID:26867045
Wightman, Aaron G; Oron, Assaf P; Symons, Jordan M; Flynn, Joseph T
Background Pediatrics and pediatric nephrology lag behind adult medicine in producing randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Physician attitudes have been shown to play a significant role in RCT enrollment. Methods We surveyed members of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology regarding beliefs about RCTs and factors influencing decisions to recommend RCT enrollment. Regression analyses were used to identify effects of variables on an aggregate score summarizing attitudes toward RCTs. Results 130 replies were received. 66% had enrolled patients in RCTs. Respondents in practice >15 years were more likely to have recruited a patient to a RCT than those in practice <5 years. Respondents were more willing to recommend RCT enrollment if the study was multicenter, patients were sicker or had a poorer prognosis, or if the parent or participant received a financial incentive versus the provider. In multiple regression analysis, history of enrolling patients in a RCT was the only significant predictor of higher aggregate RCT-friendly attitude. Conclusions Many pediatric nephrologists have never enrolled a patient in a RCT, particularly those in practice <5 years. Respondents who have not enrolled patients in RCTs have a less RCT-friendly attitude. Provision of improved training and resources might increase participation of junior providers in RCTs. PMID:24379023
Hassanein, Aladdin H; Herrera, Fernando A; Hassanein, Omar
Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of evidence-based medicine. In the field of plastic surgery, designing these studies is much more challenging than in pharmaceutical medicine. Randomized trials in plastic surgery encompass several road blocks including problems shared with other surgical trials: equipoise, high cost, placebo issues and learning curves following the establishment of a novel approach. In addition, plastic surgery has more subjective outcomes, thus making study design even more difficult in assessing the end result.
Sessler, Daniel I; Imrey, Peter B
Randomized assignment of treatment excludes reverse causation and selection bias and, in sufficiently large studies, effectively prevents confounding. Well-implemented blinding prevents measurement bias. Studies that include these protections are called randomized, blinded clinical trials and, when conducted with sufficient numbers of patients, provide the most valid results. Although conceptually straightforward, design of clinical trials requires thoughtful trade-offs among competing approaches-all of which influence the number of patients required, enrollment time, internal and external validity, ability to evaluate interactions among treatments, and cost.
Wiljer, David; Cafazzo, Joseph A
Background Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have long been considered the primary research study design capable of eliciting causal relationships between health interventions and consequent outcomes. However, with a prolonged duration from recruitment to publication, high-cost trial implementation, and a rigid trial protocol, RCTs are perceived as an impractical evaluation methodology for most mHealth apps. Objective Given the recent development of alternative evaluation methodologies and tools to automate mHealth research, we sought to determine the breadth of these methods and the extent that they were being used in clinical trials. Methods We conducted a review of the ClinicalTrials.gov registry to identify and examine current clinical trials involving mHealth apps and retrieved relevant trials registered between November 2014 and November 2015. Results Of the 137 trials identified, 71 were found to meet inclusion criteria. The majority used a randomized controlled trial design (80%, 57/71). Study designs included 36 two-group pretest-posttest control group comparisons (51%, 36/71), 16 posttest-only control group comparisons (23%, 16/71), 7 one-group pretest-posttest designs (10%, 7/71), 2 one-shot case study designs (3%, 2/71), and 2 static-group comparisons (3%, 2/71). A total of 17 trials included a qualitative component to their methodology (24%, 17/71). Complete trial data collection required 20 months on average to complete (mean 21, SD 12). For trials with a total duration of 2 years or more (31%, 22/71), the average time from recruitment to complete data collection (mean 35 months, SD 10) was 2 years longer than the average time required to collect primary data (mean 11, SD 8). Trials had a moderate sample size of 112 participants. Two trials were conducted online (3%, 2/71) and 7 trials collected data continuously (10%, 7/68). Onsite study implementation was heavily favored (97%, 69/71). Trials with four data collection points had a longer study
Xiong, Xiaoping; Tan, Ming; Boyett, James
In this paper, we develop a sequential procedure to monitor clinical trials against historical controls. When there is a strong ethical concern about randomizing patients to existing treatment because biological and medical evidence suggests that the new treatment is potentially superior to the existing one, or when the enrollment is too limited for randomization of subjects into experimental and control groups, one can monitor the trial sequentially against historical controls if the historical data with required quality and sample size are available to form a valid reference for the trial. This design of trial is sometimes the only alternative to a randomized phase III trial design that is intended but not feasible in situations such as above. Monitoring this type of clinical trial leads to a statistical problem of comparing two population means in a situation in which data from one population are sequentially collected and compared with all data from the other population at each interim look. The proposed sequential procedures is based on the sequential conditional probability ratio test (SCPRT) by which the conclusion of the sequential test would be virtually the same as that arrived at by a non-sequential test based on all data at the planned end of the trial. We develop the sequential procedure by proposing a Brownian motion that emulates the test statistic, and then proposing an SCPRT that is adapted to the special properties of the trial. PMID:16900551
Marcus, S M
In some randomized controlled trials, subjects with a better prognosis may be diverted into the treatment group. This subverting of randomization results in an unobserved non-compliance with the originally intended treatment assignment. Consequently, the estimate of treatment effect from these trials may be biased. This paper clarifies the determinants of the magnitude of the bias and gives a sensitivity analysis that associates the amount that randomization is subverted and the resulting bias in treatment effect estimation. The methods are illustrated with a randomized controlled trial that evaluates the efficacy of a culturally sensitive AIDS education video.
Murimi, Mary; Gonzalez, Anjelica; Njike, Valentine; Green, Lawrence W.
Methods for translating the findings of controlled trials, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, into real-world community application have not been clearly defined. A standardized research methodology for making and evaluating such a transition is needed. We introduce the multisite translational community trial (mTCT) as the research analog to the multisite randomized controlled trial. The mTCT is adapted to incorporate the principles and practices of community-based participatory research and the increased relevance and generalizability gained from diverse community settings. The mTCT is a tool designed to bridge the gap between what a clinical trial demonstrates can work in principle and what is needed to make it workable and effective in real-world settings. Its utility could be put to the test, in particular with practice-based research networks such as the Prevention Research Centers. PMID:21680935
Because substantially reducing Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat has proven to be difficult using any one control measure, integrated control approaches are seen as the best opportunity to consistently reduce the disease. Biological control agents (BCAs), applied as a tank mix with fungicides at ...
Due to the difficulty of substantially reducing Fusarium head blight of wheat with any one control measure, integrated control approaches are seen as the best opportunity to consistently reduce the disease. Biological control agents (BCA’s), applied as a part of a tank mix with fungicides at flower...
Perlman, Adam; Dreusicke, Mark; Keever, Teresa; Ali, Ather
Background Clinical practice and randomized trials often have disparate aims, despite involving similar interventions. Attitudes and expectancies of practitioners influence patient outcomes, and there is growing emphasis on optimizing provider–patient relationships. In this study, we evaluated the experiences of licensed massage therapists involved in a randomized controlled clinical trial using qualitative methodology. Methods Seven massage therapists who were interventionists in a randomized controlled trial participated in structured interviews approximately 30 minutes in length. Interviews focused on their experiences and perceptions regarding aspects of the clinical trial, as well as recommendations for future trials. Transcribed interviews were analyzed for emergent topics and themes using standard qualitative methods. Results Six themes emerged. Therapists discussed 1) promoting the profession of massage therapy through research, 2) mixed views on using standardized protocols, 3) challenges of sham interventions, 4) participant response to the sham intervention, 5) views on scheduling and compensation, and 6) unanticipated benefits of participating in research. Conclusions Therapists largely appreciated the opportunity to promote massage through research. They demonstrated insight and understanding of the rationale for a clinical trial adhering to a standardized protocol. Evaluating the experiences and ideas of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners provides valuable insight that is relevant for the implementation and design of randomized trials. PMID:26388961
Floyd, Kory; Mikkelson, Alan C.; Hesse, Colin; Pauley, Perry M.
In two 5-week trials, healthy college students were randomly assigned either to experimental or control groups. Participants in the experimental groups wrote about their affection for significant friends, relatives, and/or romantic partners for 20 minutes on three separate occasions; on the same schedule, those in the control groups wrote about…
Nicholas, Angela; Stevenson, Fiona; Murray, Elizabeth
Background Incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young people in the United Kingdom is increasing. The Internet can be a suitable medium for delivery of sexual health information and sexual health promotion, given its high usage among young people, its potential for creating a sense of anonymity, and ease of access. Online randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly being used to evaluate online interventions, but while there are many advantages to online methodologies, they can be associated with a number of problems, including poor engagement with online interventions, poor trial retention, and concerns about the validity of data collected through self-report online. We conducted an online feasibility trial that tested the effects of the Sexunzipped website for sexual health compared to an information-only website. This study reports on a qualitative evaluation of the trial procedures, describing participants’ experiences and views of the Sexunzipped online trial including methods of recruitment, incentives, methods of contact, and sexual health outcome measurement. Objective Our goal was to determine participants’ views of the acceptability and validity of the online trial methodology used in the pilot RCT of the Sexunzipped intervention. Methods We used three qualitative data sources to assess the acceptability and validity of the online pilot RCT methodology: (1) individual interviews with 22 participants from the pilot RCT, (2) 133 emails received by the trial coordinator from trial participants, and (3) 217 free-text comments from the baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. An iterative, thematic analysis of all three data sources was conducted to identify common themes related to the acceptability and feasibility of the online trial methodology. Results Interview participants found the trial design, including online recruitment via Facebook, online registration, email
The global epidemic of head injuries is just beginning. Many are caused by road traffic crashes. It is estimated that, by 2020, road traffic crashes will have moved from its present position of ninth to third in the world disease burden ranking, as measured in disability adjusted life years. In developing countries, it will have moved to second. The Corticosteroid Randomisation After Significant Head Injury (CRASH) trial is a large-scale, randomised, controlled trial, among adults with head injury and impaired consciousness, of the effects of a short-term infusion of corticosteroids on death and on neurological disability. Following a successful pilot phase, which included over 1000 randomised participants, the main phase of the trial is now underway. Over the next 5 years, the trial aims to recruit a total of 20,000 patients. Such large numbers will only be possible if hundreds of doctors and nurses can collaborate in emergency departments all over the world. The trial is currently recruiting, and new collaborators are welcome to join the trial (see ). PMID:11737908
Sheikh, Aziz; Smeeth, Liam; Ashcroft, Richard
There is now widespread acknowledgement of the absence of a sound evidence base underpinning many of the decisions made in primary care. Randomised controlled trials represent the methodology of choicefor determining efficacy and effectiveness of interventions, yet researchers working in primary care have been reluctant to use intervention studies, favouring observational study designs. Unfamiliarity with the different trial designs now available, and the relative advantages and disadvantages conferred by each, may be one factor contributing to this paradox. In this paper, we consider the principal trial designs available to primary care researchers, discussing the contexts in which a particular design may prove most useful. This information will, we hope, also prove useful to primary care clinicians attempting to interpret trial findings. PMID:12236280
Background Wound infection affects a considerable portion of patients after abdominal operations, increasing health care costs and postoperative morbidity and affecting quality of life. Antibacterial coating has been suggested as an effective measure to decrease postoperative wound infections after laparotomies. The INLINE metaanalysis has recently shown the superiority of a slowly absorbable continuous suture for abdominal closure; with PDS plus® such a suture has now been made available with triclosan antibacterial coating. Methods/Design The PROUD trial is designed as a randomised, controlled, observer, surgeon and patient blinded multicenter superiority trial with two parallel groups and a primary endpoint of wound infection during 30 days after surgery. The intervention group will receive triclosan coated polydioxanone sutures, whereas the control group will receive the standard polydioxanone sutures; abdominal closure will otherwise be standardized in both groups. Statistical analysis is based on intention-to-treat population via binary logistic regression analysis, the total sample size of n = 750 is sufficient to ensure alpha = 5% and power = 80%, an interim analysis will be carried out after data of 375 patients are available. Discussion The PROUD trial will yield robust data to determine the effectiveness of antibacterial coating in one of the standard sutures for abdominal closure and potentially lead to amendment of current guidelines. The exploration of clinically objective parameters as well as quality of life holds immediate relevance for clinical management and the pragmatic trial design ensures high external validity. Trial Registration The trial protocol has been registered with the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00000390). PMID:22103965
Torgerson, Carole J.
The randomised controlled trial (RCT) is an evaluative method used by social scientists in order to establish whether or not an intervention is effective. This contribution discusses the fundamental aspects of good RCT design. These are illustrated through the use of a recently completed RCT which evaluated an information and communication…
van Rappard, Dominique C; Mekkes, Jan R; Tzellos, Thrasivoulos
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory, recurrent, debilitating skin disease. Several treatment modalities are available, but most of them lack high-quality evidence. A systematic search was performed to identify all randomized controlled trials for the treatment of HS in order to review and evaluate the evidence. Recommendations for future randomized controlled trials include using validated scores, inclusion of patient rated outcomes, and thorough report of side effects. Evidence for long-term treatment and benefit/risk ratio of available treatment modalities is needed in order to enhance evidence-based treatment in daily clinical practice. Combining surgery with antiinflammatory treatment warrants further investigation.
Cree, Bruce A C
Currently, there are no approved treatments for NMO. All therapeutic studies in NMO have been either small, retrospective case series or uncontrolled prospective studies. Such studies are susceptible to inherent biases. As a consequence, conclusions regarding efficacy and safety from these studies may be erroneous. The optimal method for assessing therapeutic efficacy is the prospective, controlled trial with random treatment assignment that has the potential to control for multiple sources of bias. There is a significant unmet need for well-designed clinical trials in NMO. Successfully conducted, well-controlled NMO trials that show proof of benefit will lead to regulatory approval and subsequent acceptance by payers resulting in broad therapeutic availability. The most direct method to prove efficacy is to compare an active treatment vs. no treatment or placebo control. However, because of the devastating nature of the disease some clinicians are reluctant to expose potential study patients to the risk of no treatment. The primary ethical concern in the case of placebo-control in NMO clinical trials rests on the relative merits of answering the scientific question regarding efficacy compared to the relative risk of exposure to harm in the placebo-control group. This article outlines the case for clinical equipoise in NMO by addressing the uncertainty regarding the relative scientific and clinical merits of current empirically used treatments and showing that a placebo arm is consistent with competent medical care. Because no currently available treatment has proven benefit, and because all therapies are known to potentially cause harm, placebo-control is not only ethical but is in some ways preferable to active comparator or add-on study designs. Without well-designed, placebo-controlled trials, NMO patients may not have access to new treatments and will never know whether the therapies that they may be currently taking have risk to benefit profiles that clearly
van Praag, H. M.; Schut, T.; Dols, L.; van Schilfgaarden, R.
A controlled study was made of penfluridol medication consisting of a single weekly oral dose of 30 mg in 30 patients with acute psychoses of varying type and origin. This medication was found to be effective. No significant side effects occurred. Several long-acting neuroleptics for injection are now available. The development of an oral compound of this type is an asset because of the manageability of the oral drug in the hands of family doctors and social psychiatrists. PMID:4943034
Spieth, Peter Markus; Kubasch, Anne Sophie; Penzlin, Ana Isabel; Illigens, Ben Min-Woo; Barlinn, Kristian; Siepmann, Timo
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the hallmark of evidence-based medicine and form the basis for translating research data into clinical practice. This review summarizes commonly applied designs and quality indicators of RCTs to provide guidance in interpreting and critically evaluating clinical research data. It further reflects on the principle of equipoise and its practical applicability to clinical science with an emphasis on critical care and neurological research. We performed a review of educational material, review articles, methodological studies, and published clinical trials using the databases MEDLINE, PubMed, and ClinicalTrials.gov. The most relevant recommendations regarding design, conduction, and reporting of RCTs may include the following: 1) clinically relevant end points should be defined a priori, and an unbiased analysis and report of the study results should be warranted, 2) both significant and nonsignificant results should be objectively reported and published, 3) structured study design and performance as indicated in the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement should be employed as well as registration in a public trial database, 4) potential conflicts of interest and funding sources should be disclaimed in study report or publication, and 5) in the comparison of experimental treatment with standard care, preplanned interim analyses during an ongoing RCT can aid in maintaining clinical equipoise by assessing benefit, harm, or futility, thus allowing decision on continuation or termination of the trial. PMID:27354804
Ball, Alexandra K; Howman, Andrew; Wheatley, Keith; Burdon, Michael A; Matthews, Timothy; Jacks, Andrew S; Lawden, Mark; Sivaguru, Arul; Furmston, Alexandra; Howell, Steven; Sharrack, Basil; Davies, M Brendan; Sinclair, Alexandra J; Clarke, Carl E
The cause of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) remains unknown, and no consensus exists on how patients should be monitored and treated. Acetazolamide is a common treatment but has never been examined in a randomised controlled trial. The objectives of this pilot trial are to prospectively evaluate the use of acetazolamide, to explore various outcome measures and to inform the design of a definitive trial in IIH. Fifty patients were recruited from six centres over 23 months and randomised to receive acetazolamide (n = 25) or no acetazolamide (n = 25). Symptoms, body weight, visual function and health-related quality-of-life measures were recorded over a 12-month period. Recruited patients had typical features of mild IIH and most showed improvement, with 44% judged to have IIH in remission at the end of the trial. Difficulties with recruitment were highlighted as well as poor compliance with acetazolamide therapy (12 patients). A composite measure of IIH status was tested, and the strongest concordance with final disease status was seen with perimetry (Somers' D = 0.66) and optic disc appearance (D = 0.59). Based on the study data, a sample size of 320 would be required to demonstrate a 20% treatment effect in a substantive trial. Clinical trials in IIH require pragmatic design to involve sufficiently large numbers of patients. Future studies should incorporate weighted composite scores to reflect the relative importance of common outcome measures in IIH.
Pettus-Davis, Carrie; Howard, Matthew Owen; Dunnigan, Allison; Scheyett, Anna M.; Roberts-Lewis, Amelia
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are rarely used to evaluate social and behavioral interventions designed for releasing prisoners. Objective: We use a pilot RCT of a social support intervention (Support Matters) as a case example to discuss obstacles and strategies for conducting RCT intervention evaluations that span prison and community…
Guyatt, G H; Townsend, M; Kazim, F; Newhouse, M T
Ambroxol is a mucolytic agent which is widely used in chronic bronchitis in Europe. We conducted a double-blind randomized controlled trial of ambroxol vs matched placebo in 90 patients with chronic bronchitis and difficulty clearing secretions. It was concluded that there was no advantage to taking ambroxol.
Topping, K. J.; Miller, D.; Murray, P.; Henderson, S.; Fortuna, C.; Conlin, N.
Background: Large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCT) are relatively rare in education. The present study was an attempt to scale up previous small peer tutoring projects, while investing only modestly in continuing professional development for teachers. Purpose: A two-year RCT of peer tutoring in mathematics was undertaken in one local…
Wang, Haiwen; Woodworth, Katrina
This study applies a randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of supplemental instruction using two online mathematics curricula--DreamBox and Reasoning Mind. It is an independent evaluation intended to generate unbiased results that will help inform the ongoing development of a charter school network's hybrid instructional model, which…
Mitchell, E A; Elliott, R B
A cross-over trial was conducted on 10 children with moderate to severe asthma, who had positive skin tests to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and nocturnal wheeze. An electrostatic precipitator was used during the night to remove airborne particles from the bedroom. During use of the precipitator peak expiratory flow rates were no better than in a control period.
Herr, Harry W
In 1784, a Royal Commission headed by Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier designed a series of ingenious experiments to debunk France's greatest medical rogue, Anton Mesmer, and his bizarre healing of illnesses based on his bogus theory of animal magnetism. Using intentional subject ignorance and sham interventions to investigate mesmerism, Franklin's commission provided a model for the controlled clinical trial. PMID:16144669
Herr, Harry W
In 1784, a Royal Commission headed by Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier designed a series of ingenious experiments to debunk France's greatest medical rogue, Anton Mesmer, and his bizarre healing of illnesses based on his bogus theory of animal magnetism. Using intentional subject ignorance and sham interventions to investigate mesmerism, Franklin's commission provided a model for the controlled clinical trial.
Background Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare inflammatory skin disorder characterised by painful and rapidly progressing skin ulceration. PG can be extremely difficult to treat and patients often require systemic immunosuppression. Recurrent lesions of PG are common, but the relative rarity of this condition means that there is a lack of published evidence regarding its treatment. A systematic review published in 2005 found no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) relating to the treatment of PG. Since this time, one small RCT has been published comparing infliximab to placebo, but none of the commonly used systemic treatments for PG have been formally assessed. The UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network’s STOP GAP Trial has been designed to address this lack of trial evidence. Methods The objective is to assess whether oral ciclosporin is more effective than oral prednisolone for the treatment of PG. The trial design is a two-arm, observer-blind, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial comparing ciclosporin (4 mg/kg/day) to prednisolone (0.75 mg/kg/day). A total of 140 participants are to be recruited over a period of 4 years, from up to 50 hospitals in the UK and Eire. Primary outcome of velocity of healing at 6 weeks is assessed blinded to treatment allocation (using digital images of the ulcers). Secondary outcomes include: (i) time to healing; (ii) global assessment of improvement; (iii) PG inflammation assessment scale score; (iv) self-reported pain; (v) health-related quality of life; (vi) time to recurrence; (vii) treatment failures; (viii) adverse reactions to study medications; and (ix) cost effectiveness/utility. Patients with a clinical diagnosis of PG (excluding granulomatous PG); measurable ulceration (that is, not pustular PG); and patients aged over 18 years old who are able to give informed consent are included in the trial. Randomisation is by computer generated code using permuted blocks of randomly varying size, stratified by
Strand, Vibeke; Sokolove, Jeremy
Much progress has occurred over the past decade in rheumatoid arthritis trial design. Recognized challenges have led to the establishment of a clear regulatory pathway to demonstrate efficacy of a new therapeutic. The use of pure placebo beyond 12 to 16 weeks has been demonstrated to be unethical and thus background therapy and/or early rescue has become regular practice. Goals of remission and 'treating to targets' may prove more relevant to identify real-world use of new and existing therapeutics. Identification of rare adverse events associated with new therapies has resulted in intensive safety evaluation during randomized controlled trials and emphasis on postmarketing surveillance and use of registries. PMID:19232061
Malavolta, Eduardo Angeli; Demange, Marco Kawamura; Gobbi, Riccardo Gomes; Imamura, Marta; Fregni, Felipe
Randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) are considered to be the gold standard for evidence-based medicine nowadays, and are important for directing medical practice through consistent scientific observations. Steps such as patient selection, randomization and blinding are fundamental for conducting a RCT, but some additional difficulties are presented in trials that involve surgical procedures, as is common in orthopedics. The aim of this article was to highlight and discuss some difficulties and possible limitations on RCTs within the field of surgery. PMID:27027037
Sargeant, J M; Kelton, D F; O'Connor, A M
This article is the third of six articles addressing systematic reviews in animal agriculture and veterinary medicine. This article provides an overview of clinical trials, both randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and challenge trials, where the disease outcome is deliberately induced by the investigator. RCTs are not the only study design used in systematic reviews, but are preferred when available as the gold standard for evaluating interventions under real-world conditions. RCTs are planned experiments, which involve diseased or at-risk study subjects and are designed to evaluate interventions (therapeutic treatments or preventive strategies, including antibiotics, vaccines, management practices, dietary changes, management changes or lifestyle changes). Key components of the RCT are the use of one or more comparison (control) groups and investigator control over intervention allocation. Important design features in RCTs include as follows: how the population is selected, approach to allocation of intervention and control group subjects, how allocation is concealed prior to enrolment of study subjects, how outcomes are defined, how allocation to group is concealed (blinding) and how withdrawals from the study are managed. Guidelines for reporting important features of RCTs have been published and are useful tools for writing, reviewing and reading reports of RCTs. PMID:24905993
Zhang, Song; Cao, Jing; Ahn, Chul
Background Makuch and Simon  developed a sample size formula for historical control trials. When assessing power, they assumed the true control treatment effect to be equal to the observed effect from the historical control group. Many researchers have pointed out that the M-S approach does not preserve the nominal power and type I error when considering the uncertainty in the true historical control treatment effect. Purpose To develop a sample size formula that properly accounts for the underlying randomness in the observations from the historical control group. Methods We reveal the extremely skewed nature in the distributions of power and type I error, obtained over all the random realizations of the historical control data. The skewness motivates us to derive a sample size formula that controls the percentiles, instead of the means, of the power and type I error. Results A closed-form sample size formula is developed to control arbitrary percentiles of power and type I error for historical control trials. A simulation study further demonstrates that this approach preserves the operational characteristics in a more realistic scenario where the population variances are unknown and replaced by sample variances. Limitations The closed-form sample size formula is derived for continuous outcomes. The formula is more complicated for binary or survival time outcomes. Conclusions We have derived a closed-form sample size formula that controls the percentiles instead of means of power and type I error in historical control trials, which have extremely skewed distributions over all the possible realizations of historical control data. PMID:20573638
Background Seventy percent of women in Scotland have at least one baby, making pregnancy an opportunity to help most young women quit smoking before their own health is irreparably compromised. By quitting during pregnancy their infants will be protected from miscarriage and still birth as well as low birth weight, asthma, attention deficit disorder and adult cardiovascular disease. In the UK, the NICE guidelines: ‘How to stop smoking in pregnancy and following childbirth’ (June 2010) highlighted that little evidence exists in the literature to confirm the efficacy of financial incentives to help pregnant smokers to quit. Its first research recommendation was to determine: Within a UK context, are incentives an acceptable, effective and cost-effective way to help pregnant women who smoke to quit? Design and methods This study is a phase II exploratory individually randomized controlled trial comparing standard care for pregnant smokers with standard care plus the additional offer of financial voucher incentives to engage with specialist cessation services and/or to quit smoking during pregnancy. Participants (n = 600) will be pregnant smokers identified at maternity booking who, when contacted by specialist cessation services, agree to having their details passed to the NHS Smokefree Pregnancy Study Helpline to discuss the trial. The NHS Smokefree Pregnancy Study Helpline will be responsible for telephone consent and follow-up in late pregnancy. The primary outcome will be self reported smoking in late pregnancy verified by cotinine measurement. An economic evaluation will refine cost data collection and assess potential cost-effectiveness while qualitative research interviews with clients and health professionals will assess the level of acceptance of this form of incentive payment. The research questions are: What is the likely therapeutic efficacy? Are incentives potentially cost-effective? Is individual randomization an efficient trial design without
Joffe, Grigori; Stenberg, Jan-Henry
Background: Despite adequate treatment with antipsychotics, a substantial number of patients with schizophrenia demonstrate only suboptimal clinical outcome. To overcome this challenge, various psychopharmacological combination strategies have been used, including antidepressants added to antipsychotics. Methods: To analyze the efficacy of add-on antidepressants for the treatment of negative, positive, cognitive, depressive, and antipsychotic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms in schizophrenia, published randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of adjunctive antidepressants in schizophrenia were reviewed using the following parameters: baseline clinical characteristics and number of patients, their on-going antipsychotic treatment, dosage of the add-on antidepressants, duration of the trial, efficacy measures, and outcomes. Results: There were 36 randomized controlled trials reported in 41 journal publications (n=1582). The antidepressants used were the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, duloxetine, imipramine, mianserin, mirtazapine, nefazodone, reboxetin, trazodone, and bupropion. Mirtazapine and mianserin showed somewhat consistent efficacy for negative symptoms and both seemed to enhance neurocognition. Trazodone and nefazodone appeared to improve the antipsychotics-induced extrapyramidal symptoms. Imipramine and duloxetine tended to improve depressive symptoms. No clear evidence supporting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’ efficacy on any clinical domain of schizophrenia was found. Add-on antidepressants did not worsen psychosis. Conclusions: Despite a substantial number of randomized controlled trials, the overall efficacy of add-on antidepressants in schizophrenia remains uncertain mainly due to methodological issues. Some differences in efficacy on several schizophrenia domains seem, however, to exist and to vary by the antidepressant subgroups—plausibly due to differences in the mechanisms of action. Antidepressants may not worsen
Gates, Simon; Park, Daniel; Gao, Fang; Knox, Chris; Holloway, Ben; McAuley, Daniel F.; Ryan, James; Marzouk, Joseph; Cooke, Matthew W.; Lamb, Sarah E.; Thickett, David R.
Rationale: Experimental studies suggest that pretreatment with β-agonists might prevent acute lung injury (ALI). Objectives: To determine if in adult patients undergoing elective esophagectomy, perioperative treatment with inhaled β-agonists effects the development of early ALI. Methods: We conducted a randomized placebo-controlled trial in 12 UK centers (2008–2011). Adult patients undergoing elective esophagectomy were allocated to prerandomized, sequentially numbered treatment packs containing inhaled salmeterol (100 μg twice daily) or a matching placebo. Patients, clinicians, and researchers were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was development of ALI within 72 hours of surgery. Secondary outcomes were ALI within 28 days, organ failure, adverse events, survival, and health-related quality of life. An exploratory substudy measured biomarkers of alveolar-capillary inflammation and injury. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 179 patients were randomized to salmeterol and 183 to placebo. Baseline characteristics were similar. Treatment with salmeterol did not prevent early lung injury (32 [19.2%] of 168 vs. 27 [16.0%] of 170; odds ratio [OR], 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.71–2.22). There was no difference in organ failure, survival, or health-related quality of life. Adverse events were less frequent in the salmeterol group (55 vs. 70; OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.39–0.99), predominantly because of a lower number of pneumonia (7 vs. 17; OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16–0.96). Salmeterol reduced some biomarkers of alveolar inflammation and epithelial injury. Conclusion: Perioperative treatment with inhaled salmeterol was well tolerated but did not prevent ALI. Clinical trial registered with International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Register (ISRCTN47481946) and European Union database of randomized Controlled Trials (EudraCT 2007-004096-19). PMID:24392848
Pavlou, Menelaos; Copas, Andrew; McCarthy, Ona; Carswell, Ken; Rait, Greta; Hart, Graham; Nazareth, Irwin; Free, Caroline; French, Rebecca; Murray, Elizabeth
Background Sexual health problems such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection are important public health concerns and there is huge potential for health promotion using digital interventions. Evaluations of digital interventions are increasingly conducted online. Trial administration and data collection online offers many advantages, but concerns remain over fraudulent registration to obtain compensation, the quality of self-reported data, and high attrition. Objective This study addresses the feasibility of several dimensions of online trial design—recruitment, online consent, participant identity verification, randomization and concealment of allocation, online data collection, data quality, and retention at 3-month follow-up. Methods Young people aged 16 to 20 years and resident in the United Kingdom were recruited to the “Sexunzipped” online trial between November 2010 and March 2011 (n=2036). Participants filled in baseline demographic and sexual health questionnaires online and were randomized to the Sexunzipped interactive intervention website or to an information-only control website. Participants were also randomly allocated to a postal request (or no request) for a urine sample for genital chlamydia testing and receipt of a lower (£10/US$16) or higher (£20/US$32) value shopping voucher compensation for 3-month outcome data. Results The majority of the 2006 valid participants (90.98%, 1825/2006) were aged between 18 and 20 years at enrolment, from all four countries in the United Kingdom. Most were white (89.98%, 1805/2006), most were in school or training (77.48%, 1545/1994), and 62.81% (1260/2006) of the sample were female. In total, 3.88% (79/2036) of registrations appeared to be invalid and another 4.00% (81/2006) of participants gave inconsistent responses within the questionnaire. The higher value compensation (£20/US$32) increased response rates by 6-10%, boosting retention at 3 months to 77.2% (166/215) for submission of
Bentzen, Søren M.
Evidence-based medicine has become a cornerstone in the development of radiation oncology and the randomized controlled phase III trial remains the gold standard for assessing differential benefits in clinical outcome between therapies. Health technologies aimed at improving treatment quality should primarily be tested using process measures or operational characteristics, the reason being that the sensitivity and specificity of clinical outcome is low for detecting quality improvements. The ongoing discussion of the relative merits of intensity modulated photon vs. proton radiotherapy is used to illustrate these concepts. Concerns over clinical and individual equipoise as well as the potential limitations of health economics considerations in this setting are also discussed. Working in a technology and science based medical discipline, radiation oncology researchers need to further develop methodology for critical assessment of health technologies as a complement to randomized controlled trials. PMID:18237799
Chen, Stephanie C.; McCullumsmith, Cheryl
Background Although placebo-control clinical trials that withhold effective treatments can be permissible, how best to inform participants of the placebo design has received little attention. Aims To determine the effect of disclosing quantitative outcome estimates of individual treatment v. entering placebo-control randomised control trial (RCT) on willingness to enrol in such an RCT. Method We randomised 278 adult patients at a depression clinic to receive standard disclosure (n = 129) or enhanced (n = 149) quantitative outcome estimates (based on decision analysis) of individual treatment v. RCT, and assessed their willingness to enrol in the RCT. Results A greater proportion of those in the standard arm preferred enrolling in RCT (41.3% v. 23.8%, P = 0.002). Those in the standard arm preferred RCT more for direct benefit than altruism reasons, whereas the opposite was true in the enhanced arm. Conclusions Disclosing the quantitative outcome implications of placebos may select for fewer but more altruistic participants. Declaration of interest S.Y.H.K. was a DSMB member of a clinical trial sponsored by Hoffman-LaRoche and he receives royalties from Oxford University Press for his book Evaluation of Capacity to Consent to Treatment and Research. C.M. has served in the past year on a scientific advisory board and as a consultant for Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Copyright and usage This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence. PMID:27703715
Wingerchuk, Dean M; Noseworthy, John H
MS poses formidable challenges to clinical investigators. Obstacles to the study of MS therapies include disease chronicity, an unpredictable clinical course, radiologic and pathologic heterogeneity, and limited understanding of the underlying pathophysiology. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide a means to assess therapeutic efficacy while reducing the risks of study bias and confounding factors that influence interpretation of results. RCTs have demonstrated that type 1 interferons and glatiramer acetate alter the short-term natural history of MS and have served as the basis of approval for the marketing of these treatments. Improvements and optimization of trial methodology may hasten the discovery of effective therapies and facilitate better comparisons of the results of individual drug trials. The most urgent need is for improved surrogate end points for clinical outcome with predictive validity for long-term disability. Even if RCT methodology is optimal, however, several limitations inherent to MS trials threaten to impede further progress, including obstacles to long-term studies (e.g., costs), patient withdrawal, and escalating sample size requirements to detect partial therapeutic benefit. There is a crucial need to develop alternative investigative methods, possibly through enhanced collaboration across centers and with industry, and by exploring innovative techniques to use existing RCT and natural history databases to greater advantage.
Allmark, P; Mason, S
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) sometimes recruit participants who are desperate to receive the experimental treatment. This paper defends the practice against three arguments that suggest it is unethical first, desperate volunteers are not in equipoise. Second clinicians, entering patients onto trials are disavowing their therapeutic obligation to deliver the best treatment; they are following trial protocols rather than delivering individualised care. Research is not treatment; its ethical justification is different. Consent is crucial. Third, desperate volunteers do not give proper consent: effectively, they are coerced. This paper responds by advocating a notion of equipoise based on expert knowledge and widely shared values. Where such collective, expert equipoise exists there is a prima facie case for an RCT. Next the paper argues that trial entry does not involve clinicians disavowing their therapeutic obligation; individualised care based on insufficient evidence is not in patients best interest. Finally, it argues that where equipoise exists it is acceptable to limit access to experimental agents; desperate volunteers are not coerced because their desperation does not translate into a right to receive what they desire.
Background Spatial neglect is a frequent and debilitating consequence of acquired brain injury and currently has no widely accepted standard of care. While previous interventions for spatial neglect have targeted patients’ overt spatial deficits (e.g., reduced contralesional visual scanning), far fewer have directly targeted patients’ non-spatial deficits (e.g., sustained attention deficits). Considering that non-spatial deficits have shown to be highly predictive of long-term disability, we developed a novel computer based training program that targets both sustained (tonic) and moment-to-moment (phasic) aspects of non-spatial attention (Tonic and Phasic Alertness Training, TAPAT). Preliminary studies demonstrate that TAPAT is safe and effective in improving both spatial and non-spatial attention deficits in the post-acute recovery phase in neglect patients. The purpose of the current trial (referred to as the REmediation of SPatial Neglect or RESPONSE trial) is to compare TAPAT to an active control training condition, include a larger sample of patients, and assess both cognitive and functional outcomes. Methods/Design We will employ a multi-site, longitudinal, blinded randomized controlled trial (RCT) design with a target sample of 114 patients with spatial neglect. Patients will either perform, at their home, the experimental TAPAT training program or an active control computer games condition for thirty minutes/day, five days a week, over three months. Patients will be assessed on a battery of cognitive and functional outcomes on three occasions: a) immediately before training, b) within forty-eight hours post completion of total training, and c) after a three-month no-contact period post completion of total training, to assess the longevity of potential training effects. Discussion The strengths of this protocol are that it tests an innovative, in-home administered treatment that targets a fundamental deficit in neglect, employs highly sensitive computer
The remarkable global development of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) specific for multiple sclerosis (MS) has significantly reduced the frequency of relapse, slowed the progression of disability, and improved the quality of life in patients with MS. With increasing numbers of approved DMTs, neurologists in North America and Europe are able to present multiple treatment options to their patients to achieve a better therapeutic outcome, and in many cases, no evidence of disease activity. MS patients have improved accessibility to various DMTs at no or minimal out-of-pocket cost. The ethical guidelines defined by the Edinburgh revision of the Declaration of Helsinki strongly discourage the use of placebo control groups in modern MS clinical trials. The use of an active comparator control group increases the number of participants in each group that is essential to achieve statistical significance, thus further increasing the difficulty of completing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for the development of new MS therapies. There is evidence of a high prevalence of MS and a large number of patients in Asia. The belief of the existence of Asian types of MS that are distinct from Western types, and regulatory policies are among the reasons why DMTs are limited in most Asian countries. Lack of access to approved DMTs provides a good opportunity for clinical trials that are designed for the development of new MS therapies. Recently, data from RCTs have demonstrated excellent recruitment of participants and the completion of multi-nation and single-nation MS trials within this region. Recent studies using the McDonald MS diagnostic criteria carefully excluded patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and NMO spectrum disorder, and demonstrated that patients with MS in Asia have clinical characteristics and treatment responses similar to those in Western countries.
Bhuyan, Prakash; Desai, Jigar; Louis, Matthew St; Carlsson, Martin; Bowen, Edward; Danielson, Mark; Cantor, Michael N
Billions of dollars spent, millions of subject-hours of clinical trial experience and an abundance of archived study-level data, yet why are historical data underutilized? We propose that historical data can be aggregated to provide safety, background incidence rate and context to improve the evaluation of new medicinal products. Here, we describe the development and application of the eControls database, which is derived from the control arms of studies of licensed products, and discuss the challenges and potential solutions to the proper application of historical data to help interpret product safety. PMID:26523771
Bhuyan, Prakash; Desai, Jigar; Louis, Matthew St; Carlsson, Martin; Bowen, Edward; Danielson, Mark; Cantor, Michael N
Billions of dollars spent, millions of subject-hours of clinical trial experience and an abundance of archived study-level data, yet why are historical data underutilized? We propose that historical data can be aggregated to provide safety, background incidence rate and context to improve the evaluation of new medicinal products. Here, we describe the development and application of the eControls database, which is derived from the control arms of studies of licensed products, and discuss the challenges and potential solutions to the proper application of historical data to help interpret product safety.
Background More than one in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, most by men they know. The situation on university campuses is even more startling, with as many as 1 in 4 female students being victims of rape or attempted rape. The associated physical and mental health effects are extensive and the social and economic costs are staggering. The aim of this randomized controlled trial is to determine whether a novel, small-group sexual assault resistance education program can reduce the incidence of sexual assault among university-attending women, when compared to current university practice of providing informational brochures. Methods/Design The trial will evaluate a theoretically and empirically sound four-unit, 12-hour education program that has been demonstrated in pilot studies to have short-term efficacy. Three of the four units provide information, skills, and practice aimed at decreasing the time needed for women to assess situations with elevated risk of acquaintance sexual assault as dangerous and to take action, reducing emotional obstacles to taking action, and increasing the use of the most effective methods of verbal and physical self-defense. The fourth unit focuses on facilitating a stronger positive sexuality from which women may resist sexual coercion by male intimates more successfully. The trial will extend the pilot evaluations by expanding the participant pool and examining the long term efficacy of the program. A total of 1716 first-year female students (age 17 to 24 years) from three Canadian universities will be enrolled. The primary outcome is completed sexual assault, measured by The Sexual Experiences Survey - Short Form Victimization instrument. Secondary outcomes include changes in knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to the process of sexual assault resistance. Outcomes will be measured at baseline, 1 week, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Discussion The results of the trial will be used to produce a maximally
Background Research directed to optimizing maternal nutrition commencing prior to conception remains very limited, despite suggestive evidence of its importance in addition to ensuring an optimal nutrition environment in the periconceptional period and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. Methods/Study design This is an individually randomized controlled trial of the impact on birth length (primary outcome) of the time at which a maternal nutrition intervention is commenced: Arm 1: ≥ 3 mo preconception vs. Arm 2: 12-14 wk gestation vs. Arm 3: none. 192 (derived from 480) randomized mothers and living offspring in each arm in each of four research sites (Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo). The intervention is a daily 20 g lipid-based (118 kcal) multi-micronutient (MMN) supplement. Women randomized to receive this intervention with body mass index (BMI) <20 or whose gestational weight gain is low will receive an additional 300 kcal/d as a balanced energy-protein supplement. Researchers will visit homes biweekly to deliver intervention and monitor compliance, pregnancy status and morbidity; ensure prenatal and delivery care; and promote breast feeding. The primary outcome is birth length. Secondary outcomes include: fetal length at 12 and 34 wk; incidence of low birth weight (LBW); neonatal/infant anthropometry 0-6 mo of age; infectious disease morbidity; maternal, fetal, newborn, and infant epigenetics; maternal and infant nutritional status; maternal and infant microbiome; gut inflammatory biomarkers and bioactive and nutritive compounds in breast milk. The primary analysis will compare birth Length-for-Age Z-score (LAZ) among trial arms (independently for each site, estimated effect size: 0.35). Additional statistical analyses will examine the secondary outcomes and a pooled analysis of data from all sites. Discussion Positive results of this trial will support a paradigm shift in attention to nutrition of all females of
Background Surgeons in the Netherlands, Canada and the US participate in the FAITH trial (Fixation using Alternative Implants for the Treatment of Hip fractures). Dutch sites are managed and visited by a financed central trial coordinator, whereas most Canadian and US sites have local study coordinators and receive per patient payment. This study was aimed to assess how these different trial management strategies affected trial performance. Methods Details related to obtaining ethics approval, time to trial start-up, inclusion, and percentage completed follow-ups were collected for each trial site and compared. Pre-trial screening data were compared with actual inclusion rates. Results Median trial start-up ranged from 41 days (P25-P75 10-139) in the Netherlands to 232 days (P25-P75 98-423) in Canada (p = 0.027). The inclusion rate was highest in the Netherlands; median 1.03 patients (P25-P75 0.43-2.21) per site per month, representing 34.4% of the total eligible population. It was lowest in Canada; 0.14 inclusions (P25-P75 0.00-0.28), representing 3.9% of eligible patients (p < 0.001). The percentage completed follow-ups was 83% for Canadian and Dutch sites and 70% for US sites (p = 0.217). Conclusions In this trial, a central financed trial coordinator to manage all trial related tasks in participating sites resulted in better trial progression and a similar follow-up. It is therefore a suitable alternative for appointing these tasks to local research assistants. The central coordinator approach can enable smaller regional hospitals to participate in multicenter randomized controlled trials. Circumstances such as available budget, sample size, and geographical area should however be taken into account when choosing a management strategy. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00761813 PMID:22225733
Schueller, Stephen M; Leykin, Yan; Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J; Muñoz, Ricardo F
To address health problems that have a major impact on global health requires research designs that go beyond randomized controlled trials. One such design, the participant preference trial, provides additional information in an ecologically valid manner, once intervention efficacy has been demonstrated. The current study presents illustrative data from a participant preference trial of an internet-based smoking cessation intervention. Participants (N=7763) from 124 countries accessed the intervention and were allowed to choose from nine different site components to aid their quit attempt. Of consenting participants, 36.7% completed at least one follow-up assessment. Individuals with depression were more likely to choose a mood management module and participants who smoked a higher number of cigarettes were more likely to choose a cigarette counter and a nicotine replacement therapy guide. Furthermore, depressed participants selecting the mood management component were more likely to report at least one successful 7 day quit (37.2% vs. 22.2%) in the 12 months following the intervention. Thus, participants with depressive symptoms appear to make choices on the basis of their needs and to benefit from these decisions. This suggests that providing the ability to customize previously validated resources may be a successful way to widely disseminate interventions.
Caldwell, Patrina H. Y.; Hamilton, Sana; Tan, Alvin; Craig, Jonathan C.
Background Recruitment of participants into randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is critical for successful trial conduct. Although there have been two previous systematic reviews on related topics, the results (which identified specific interventions) were inconclusive and not generalizable. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of recruitment strategies for participation in RCTs. Methods and Findings A systematic review, using the PRISMA guideline for reporting of systematic reviews, that compared methods of recruiting individual study participants into an actual or mock RCT were included. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and reference lists of relevant studies. From over 16,000 titles or abstracts reviewed, 396 papers were retrieved and 37 studies were included, in which 18,812 of at least 59,354 people approached agreed to participate in a clinical RCT. Recruitment strategies were broadly divided into four groups: novel trial designs (eight studies), recruiter differences (eight studies), incentives (two studies), and provision of trial information (19 studies). Strategies that increased people's awareness of the health problem being studied (e.g., an interactive computer program [relative risk (RR) 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–2.18], attendance at an education session [RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01–1.28], addition of a health questionnaire [RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.14–1.66]), or a video about the health condition (RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11–2.74), and also monetary incentives (RR1.39, 95% CI 1.13–1.64 to RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28–1.84) improved recruitment. Increasing patients' understanding of the trial process, recruiter differences, and various methods of randomisation and consent design did not show a difference in recruitment. Consent rates were also higher for nonblinded trial design, but differential loss to follow up between groups may jeopardise the study findings. The study's main limitation was the necessity of
Background Intracranial hemorrhage occurs in over 60% of severe head injuries in one of three types: extradural (EDH); subdural (SDH); and intraparenchymal (TICH). Prompt surgical removal of significant SDH and EDH is established and widely accepted. However, TICH is more common and is found in more than 40% of severe head injuries. It is associated with a worse outcome but the role for surgical removal remains undefined. Surgical practice in the treatment of TICHs differs widely around the world. The aim of early surgery in TICH removal is to prevent secondary brain injury. There have been trials of surgery for spontaneous ICH (including the STICH II trial), but none so far of surgery for TICH. Methods/Design The UK National Institutes of Health Research has funded STITCH(Trauma) to determine whether a policy of early surgery in patients with TICH improves outcome compared to a policy of initial conservative treatment. It will include a health economics component and carry out a subgroup analysis of patients undergoing invasive monitoring. This is an international multicenter pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Patients are eligible if: they are within 48 h of injury; they have evidence of TICH on CT scan with a confluent volume of attenuation significantly raised above that of the background white and grey matter that has a total volume >10 mL; and their treating neurosurgeon is in equipoise. Patients will be ineligible if they have: a significant surface hematoma (EDH or SDH) requiring surgery; a hemorrhage/contusion located in the cerebellum; three or more separate hematomas fulfilling inclusion criteria; or severe pre-existing physical or mental disability or severe co-morbidity which would lead to poor outcome even if the patient made a full recovery from the head injury. Patients will be randomized via an independent service. Patients randomized to surgery receive surgery within 12 h. Both groups will be monitored according to standard neurosurgical
Background The use of nicotine replacement therapy before quitting smoking is called nicotine preloading. Standard smoking cessation protocols suggest commencing nicotine replacement therapy only on the first day of quitting smoking (quit day) aiming to reduce withdrawal symptoms and craving. However, other, more successful smoking cessation pharmacotherapies are used prior to the quit day as well as after. Nicotine preloading could improve quit rates by reducing satisfaction from smoking prior to quitting and breaking the association between smoking and reward. A systematic literature review suggests that evidence for the effectiveness of preloading is inconclusive and further trials are needed. Methods/Design This is a study protocol for a multicenter, non-blinded, randomized controlled trial based in the United Kingdom, enrolling 1786 smokers who want to quit, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Health Technology Assessment program, and sponsored by the University of Oxford. Participants will primarily be recruited through general practices and smoking cessation clinics, and randomized (1:1) either to use 21 mg nicotine patches, or not, for four weeks before quitting, whilst smoking as normal. All participants will be referred to receive standard smoking cessation service support. Follow-ups will take place at one week, four weeks, six months and 12 months after quit day. The primary outcome will be prolonged, biochemically verified six-month abstinence. Additional outcomes will include point prevalence abstinence and abstinence of four-week and 12-month duration, side effects, costs of treatment, and markers of potential mediators and moderators of the preloading effect. Discussion This large trial will add substantially to evidence on the effectiveness of nicotine preloading, but also on its cost effectiveness and potential mediators, which have not been investigated in detail previously. A range of recruitment strategies have been
Bethell, H J; Mullee, M A
Two hundred patients who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction 4-6 weeks before entered a randomised controlled trial of exercise treatment at a community sports centre supervised by a general practitioner. Eighty one per cent of the treatment group continued to exercise until they returned to work and 73% completed three months' exercise. There were no serious complications of the exercise course. The prevalence of angina pectoris fell by 10% in the treatment group but rose by 60% in the control group. The perceived energy level rose by significantly more in the treatment group than in the controls. The rise in predicted maximum oxygen uptake was significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group as was the reduction in the double product (a reflection of myocardial workload) at peak exercise. Coronary rehabilitation in the community can be both safe and effective. Images p375-a PMID:2271343
Warner, Lisa M; Wolff, Julia K; Ziegelmann, Jochen P; Wurm, Susanne
Volunteering is presumed to confer health benefits, but interventions to encourage older adults to volunteer are sparse. Therefore, a randomized controlled trial with 280 community-dwelling older German adults was conducted to test the effects of a theory-based social-cognitive intervention against a passive waiting-list control group and an active control intervention designed to motivate physical activity. Self-reports of weekly volunteering minutes were assessed at baseline (5 weeks before the intervention) as well as 2 and 6 weeks after the intervention. Participants in the treatment group increased their weekly volunteering minutes to a greater extent than participants in the control groups 6 weeks after the intervention. We conclude that a single, face-to-face group session can increase volunteering among older community-dwelling adults. However, the effects need some time to unfold because changes in volunteering were not apparent 2 weeks after the intervention.
Schwebel, David C.; McClure, Leslie A.; Severson, Joan
Objective Child pedestrian injury is a global public health challenge. This randomized controlled trial considered comparative efficacy of individualized streetside training, training in a virtual pedestrian environment, training using videos and websites, plus no-training control, to improve children’s street-crossing ability. Methods Pedestrian safety was evaluated among 231 seven- and eight-year-olds using both streetside (field) and laboratory-based (virtual environment) trials prior to intervention group assignment, immediately post-training, and six months post-training. All training groups received six 30-minute sessions. Four outcomes assessed pedestrian safety: start delay (temporal lag before initiating crossing), hits/close calls (collisions/near-misses with vehicles in simulated crossings), attention to traffic (looks left and right, controlled for time), and missed opportunities (safe crossing opportunities that were missed). Results Results showed training in the virtual pedestrian environment and especially individualized streetside training resulted in safer pedestrian behavior post-intervention and at follow-up. As examples, children trained streetside entered safe traffic gaps more quickly post-training than control group children and children trained streetside or in the virtual environment had somewhat fewer hits/close calls in post-intervention VR trials. Children showed minimal change in attention to traffic post-training. Children trained with videos/websites showed minimal learning. Conclusion Both individualized streetside training and training within virtual pedestrian environments may improve 7- and 8-year-olds’ street-crossing safety. Individualized training has limitations of adult time and labor. Virtual environment training has limitations of accessibility and cost. Given the public health burden of child pedestrian injuries, future research should explore innovative strategies for effective training that can be broadly
Lester, Richard T; Mills, Edward J; Kariri, Antony; Ritvo, Paul; Chung, Michael; Jack, William; Habyarimana, James; Karanja, Sarah; Barasa, Samson; Nguti, Rosemary; Estambale, Benson; Ngugi, Elizabeth; Ball, T Blake; Thabane, Lehana; Kimani, Joshua; Gelmon, Lawrence; Ackers, Marta; Plummer, Francis A
Background The objectives are to compare the effectiveness of cell phone-supported SMS messaging to standard care on adherence, quality of life, retention, and mortality in a population receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Nairobi, Kenya. Methods and Design A multi-site randomized controlled open-label trial. A central randomization centre provided opaque envelopes to allocate treatments. Patients initiating ART at three comprehensive care clinics in Kenya will be randomized to receive either a structured weekly SMS ('short message system' or text message) slogan (the intervention) or current standard of care support mechanisms alone (the control). Our hypothesis is that using a structured mobile phone protocol to keep in touch with patients will improve adherence to ART and other patient outcomes. Participants are evaluated at baseline, and then at six and twelve months after initiating ART. The care providers keep a weekly study log of all phone based communications with study participants. Primary outcomes are self-reported adherence to ART and suppression of HIV viral load at twelve months scheduled follow-up. Secondary outcomes are improvements in health, quality of life, social and economic factors, and retention on ART. Primary analysis is by 'intention-to-treat'. Sensitivity analysis will be used to assess per-protocol effects. Analysis of covariates will be undertaken to determine factors that contribute or deter from expected and determined outcomes. Discussion This study protocol tests whether a novel structured mobile phone intervention can positively contribute to ART management in a resource-limited setting. Trial Registration Trial Registration Number: NCT00830622 PMID:19772596
Fives, Allyn; Russell, Daniel W.; Canavan, John; Lyons, Rena; Eaton, Patricia; Devaney, Carmel; Kearns, Norean; O'Brien, Aoife
In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), treatments are assigned randomly and treatments are withheld from participants. Is it ethically permissible to conduct an RCT in a social setting? This paper addresses two conditions for justifying RCTs: that there should be a state of equipoise and that the trial should be scientifically promising.…
Bijker, Else M; Sauerwein, Robert W; Bijker, Wiebe E
Controlled human malaria infections are clinical trials in which healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with malaria under controlled conditions. Controlled human malaria infections are complex clinical trials: many different groups and institutions are involved, and several complex technologies are required to function together. This functioning together of technologies, people, and institutions is under special pressure because of potential risks to the volunteers. In this article, the authors use controlled human malaria infections as a strategic research site to study the use of control, the role of trust, and the interactions between trust and control in the construction of scientific knowledge. The authors argue that tandems of trust and control play a central role in the successful execution of clinical trials and the construction of scientific knowledge. More specifically, two aspects of tandems of trust and control will be highlighted: tandems are sites where trust and control coproduce each other, and tandems link the personal, the technical, and the institutional domains. Understanding tandems of trust and control results in setting some agendas for both clinical trial research and science and technology studies.
Egger, J; Carter, C M; Graham, P J; Gumley, D; Soothill, J F
76 selected overactive children were treated with an oligoantigenic diet, 62 improved, and a normal range of behaviour was achieved in 21 of these. Other symptoms, such as headaches, abdominal pain, and fits, also often improved. 28 of the children who improved completed a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial in which foods thought to provoke symptoms were reintroduced. Symptoms returned or were exacerbated much more often when patients were on active material than on placebo. 48 foods were incriminated. Artificial colorants and preservatives were the commonest provoking substances, but no child was sensitive to these alone.
Azar, Marleine; Riehm, Kira E.; McKay, Dean; Thombs, Brett D.
Background Confidence that randomized controlled trial (RCT) results accurately reflect intervention effectiveness depends on proper trial conduct and the accuracy and completeness of published trial reports. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (JCCP) is the primary trials journal amongst American Psychological Association (APA) journals. The objectives of this study were to review RCTs recently published in JCCP to evaluate (1) adequacy of primary outcome analysis definitions; (2) registration status; and, (3) among registered trials, adequacy of outcome registrations. Additionally, we compared results from JCCP to findings from a recent study of top psychosomatic and behavioral medicine journals. Methods Eligible RCTs were published in JCCP in 2013–2014. For each RCT, two investigators independently extracted data on (1) adequacy of outcome analysis definitions in the published report, (2) whether the RCT was registered prior to enrolling patients, and (3) adequacy of outcome registration. Results Of 70 RCTs reviewed, 12 (17.1%) adequately defined primary or secondary outcome analyses, whereas 58 (82.3%) had multiple primary outcome analyses without statistical adjustment or undefined outcome analyses. There were 39 (55.7%) registered trials. Only two trials registered prior to patient enrollment with a single primary outcome variable and time point of assessment. However, in one of the two trials, registered and published outcomes were discrepant. No studies were adequately registered as per Standard Protocol Items: Recommendation for Interventional Trials guidelines. Compared to psychosomatic and behavioral medicine journals, the proportion of published trials with adequate outcome analysis declarations was significantly lower in JCCP (17.1% versus 32.9%; p = 0.029). The proportion of registered trials in JCCP (55.7%) was comparable to behavioral medicine journals (52.6%; p = 0.709). Conclusions The quality of published outcome analysis
Khan, Muhammad Khalil; Bokhari, Syed Akhtar Hussain; Haleem, Abdul; Kareem, Abdul; Khan, Ayyaz Ali; Hosein, Tasleem; Khan, Muhammad Usama
Objectives The efficacy of a commercially available toothpowder was compared with toothpaste in removing extrinsic dental stains. Methods In this single-blind, randomized controlled trial, 77 volunteers were included from a residential professional college. All study subjects (control toothpaste users and test toothpowder users) plaque control measures. All study subjects were instructed to rinse with 5 ml 0.12% chlorhexidine mouthwash for 1 minute, twice and one cup of double tea bag solution three times daily for three weeks. Subjects were randomized into test (n=36) and control (n=36) groups. Toothpaste (control) and toothpowder (test) was used for two weeks to see the effects on removing stains on the labial surfaces of 12 anterior teeth. For measuring dental extrinsic stains Lobene Stain Index (SI) was used. Results The amount of stain following the use of toothpaste and toothpowder was more controlled with the experimental toothpowder. For all sites combined, there was evidence that the experimental toothpowder was significantly superior to toothpaste in reducing stain area (p<.001), stain intensity (p<.001) and composite/product (area × intensity) (p<.001). Conclusion Stain removing efficacy of toothpowder was significantly higher as compared with toothpaste. A toothpowder may be expected to be of benefit in controlling and removing extrinsic dental staining. PMID:25505862
Pinjuh Markota, Nina; Rumboldt, Mirjana; Rumboldt, Zvonko
Excessive salt intake is a major cardiovascular risk factor. At variance to the developed countries, the main source of sodium in transitional and developing countries is salt added while cooking and/or at the table. The objective of this trial was to examine the impact of warning labels placed on home salt containers on daily salt intake.A sample of treated hypertensives (n = 150) was randomized in two subgroups, one receiving just a leaflet about the harmful effects of excessive salt intake (control; n = 74), and the other one receiving in addition warning stickers for household salt containers (intervention; n = 76). Arterial blood pressure (BP) and 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (Na24) were measured in all the subjects at the start of the trial, and 1 month and 2 months later. The average starting Na24 was 207 ± 71 mmol in the control group and 211 ± 85 mmol in the intervention group (P = .745). One month and 2 months later, a significant decrease was observed in the intervention group (to 183 ± 63 mmol and 176 ± 55 mmol; P < .0001), as opposed to the control group (203 ± 60 mmol and 200 ± 58 mmol; P = .1466). Initial BP was 143.7/84.1 mm Hg in the control, and 142.9/84.7 mm Hg in the intervention group (P = .667). One month and 2 months later, a significant drop in BP, by 5.3/2.9 mm Hg, was observed in the intervention group as opposed to the control group (0.4/0.9 mm Hg). Decrease in Na24 positively correlated to BP lowering (r(2) = 0.5989; P < .0001). A significant reduction in 24Na and BP is achieved with warning labels on harmful effects of excessive salt intake. Decreasing daily salt input by 35 mmol may result in an extra BP lowering by some 5-6/2-3 mm Hg.
McMichael, J; Lieberman, R; Doyle, H; McCauley, J; van Thiel, D; Thomson, A; Fung, J; Starzl, T E
A randomized concentration-controlled clinical trial (RCCCT) is an alternate experimental design to the standard dose-controlled study. In a RCCCT, patients are randomly assigned to predefined plasma or blood drug concentration ranges (low, medium, and high). With the caveat that concentration ranges are sufficiently separated, this design should enhance the ability to discover important concentration response relationships. FK-506, a potent and promising immunosuppressive agent for prevention and treatment of graft rejection, has shown significant clinical activity in some immune-mediated disorders. To implement the RCCCT design, a novel FK-506 intelligent dosing system (IDS) was used to guide all doses to prospectively achieve the target concentration range specific in the study protocol. Patients enrolled in these trials suffered from a variety of autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, and nephrotic syndrome. We observed excellent predictive performance of the IDS for all patients. The accuracy (mean prediction error) of the IDS was -0.022 ng/ml and the precision (standard deviation of the prediction error) was 0.119 ng/ml. Thus, the IDS is both accurate and reproducible for autoimmune patients. We conclude that the RCCCT design, guided by an accurate and precise IDS, is an informative and cost-effective approach for evaluation of efficacy and safety of effective but highly toxic agents.
Jones, D. A.; West, R. R.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate rehabilitation after myocardial infarction. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial of rehabilitation in unselected myocardial infarction patients in six centres, baseline data being collected on admission and by structured interview (of patients and spouses) shortly after discharge and outcome being assessed by structured interview at six months and clinical examination at 12 months. SETTING: Six district general hospitals. SUBJECTS: All 2328 eligible patients admitted over two years with confirmed myocardial infarction and discharged home within 28 days. INTERVENTIONS: Rehabilitation programmes comprising psychological therapy, counselling, relaxation training, and stress management training over seven weekly group outpatient sessions for patients and spouses. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Anxiety, depression, quality of life, morbidity, use of medication, and mortality. RESULTS: At six months there were no significant differences between rehabilitation patients and controls in reported anxiety (prevalence 33%) or depression (19%). Rehabilitation patients reported a lower frequency of angina (median three versus four episodes a week), medication, and physical activity. At 12 months there were no differences in clinical complications, clinical sequelae, or mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation programmes based on psychological therapy, counselling, relaxation training, and stress management seem to offer little objective benefit to patients who have experienced myocardial infarction compared with previous reports of smaller trials. PMID:8978226
Hannon, Peggy A; Hammerback, Kristen; Allen, Claire L; Parrish, Amanda T; Chan, K Gary; Kohn, Marlana J; Teague, Sara; Beresford, Shirley A A; Helfrich, Christian D; Harris, Jeffrey R
Small employers, especially those in low-wage industries, frequently lack the capacity and resources to implement evidence-based health promotion interventions without support and assistance. The purpose of this paper is to (a) describe the intervention design and study protocol of the HealthLinks Trial and (b) report baseline findings. This study is a three-arm randomized controlled trial testing the impact of the HealthLinks intervention on worksites' adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions. Group 1 will receive HealthLinks, Group 2 will receive HealthLinks plus wellness committees, and Group 3 will be a delayed control group. Seventy-eight employers are participating in the study; and 3302 employees across the worksites participated in the baseline data collection. Employers and employees will participate in follow-up surveys at one and two years after baseline to measure implementation (one year) and maintenance (two years) of HealthLinks interventions. Study outcomes will determine whether HealthLinks is an effective approach to increasing evidence-based health promotion in small, low-wage worksites and whether wellness committees are a capacity-building tool that increases HealthLinks' effectiveness. PMID:26946121
Chaibi, Aleksander; Šaltytė Benth, Jūratė; Bjørn Russell, Michael
At present, no consensus exists among clinical and academic experts regarding an appropriate placebo for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). Therefore, we investigated whether it was possible to conduct a chiropractic manual-therapy RCT with placebo. Seventy migraineurs were randomized to a single-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial that consisted of 12 treatment sessions over 3 months. The participants were randomized to chiropractic SMT or placebo (sham manipulation). After each session, the participants were surveyed on whether they thought they had undergone active treatment (“yes” or “no”) and how strongly they believed that active treatment was received (numeric rating scale 0–10). The outcome measures included the rate of successful blinding and the certitude of the participants’ beliefs in both treatment groups. At each treatment session, more than 80% of the participants believed that they had undergone active treatment, regardless of group allocation. The odds ratio for believing that active treatment was received was >10 for all treatment sessions in both groups (all p < 0.001). The blinding was maintained throughout the RCT. Our results strongly demonstrate that it is possible to conduct a single-blinded manual-therapy RCT with placebo and to maintain the blinding throughout 12 treatment sessions given over 3 months. PMID:26145718
Background Existing evidence indicates that once mature neonates with severe cardio-respiratory failure become eligible for Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) their chances of intact survival are doubled if they actually receive ECMO. However, significant numbers survive with disability. NEST is a multi-centre randomised controlled trial designed to test whether, in neonates requiring ECMO, cooling to 34°C for the first 48 to 72 hours of their ECMO course leads to improved later health status. Infants allocated to the control group will receive ECMO at 37°C throughout their course, which is currently standard practice around the world. Health status of both groups will be assessed formally at 2 years corrected age. Methods/Design All infants recruited to the study will be cared for in one of the four United Kingdom (UK) ECMO centres. Babies who are thought to be eligible will be assessed by the treating clinician who will confirm eligibility, ensure that consent has been obtained and then randomise the baby using a web based system, based at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) Clinical Trials Unit. Trial registration. Babies allocated ECMO without cooling will receive ECMO at 37°C ± 0.2°C. Babies allocated ECMO with cooling will be managed at 34°C ± 0.2°C for up to 72 hours from the start of their ECMO run. The minimum duration of cooling will be 48 hours. Rewarming (to 37°C) will occur at a rate of no more than 0.5°C per hour. All other aspects of ECMO management will be identical. Primary outcome: Cognitive score from the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd edition (Bayley-III) at age of 2 years (24 - 27 months). Discussion For the primary analysis, children will be analysed in the groups to which they are assigned, comparing the outcome of all babies allocated to "ECMO with cooling" with all those allocated to "ECMO" alone, regardless of deviation from the protocol or treatment received. For the primary outcome the
Background Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard assessment for health technologies. A key aspect of the design of any clinical trial is the target sample size. However, many publicly-funded trials fail to reach their target sample size. This study seeks to assess the current state of recruitment success and grant extensions in trials funded by the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). Methods Data were gathered from two sources: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) HTA Journal Archive and the MRC subset of the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) register. A total of 440 trials recruiting between 2002 and 2008 were assessed for eligibility, of which 73 met the inclusion criteria. Where data were unavailable from the reports, members of the trial team were contacted to ensure completeness. Results Over half (55%) of trials recruited their originally specified target sample size, with over three-quarters (78%) recruiting 80% of their target. There was no evidence of this improving over the time of the assessment. Nearly half (45%) of trials received an extension of some kind. Those that did were no more likely to successfully recruit. Trials with 80% power were less likely to successfully recruit compared to studies with 90% power. Conclusions While recruitment appears to have improved since 1994 to 2002, publicly-funded trials in the UK still struggle to recruit to their target sample size, and both time and financial extensions are often requested. Strategies to cope with such problems should be more widely applied. It is recommended that where possible studies are planned with 90% power. PMID:23758961
Hawkins, Gillian; McMahon, Alex D; Twaddle, Sara; Wood, Stuart F; Ford, Ian; Thomson, Neil C
Objectives To determine whether the dose of inhaled corticosteroids can be stepped down in patients with chronic stable asthma while maintaining control. Design One year, randomised controlled, double blind, parallel group trial. Setting General practices throughout western and central Scotland. Participants 259 adult patients with asthma receiving regular treatment with inhaled corticosteroids at high dose (mean dose 1430 μg beclomethasone dipropionate). Interventions Participants were allocated to receive either no alteration to their dose of inhaled corticosteroid (control) or a 50% reduction in their dose if they met criteria for stable asthma (stepdown). Main outcome measures Comparison of asthma exacerbation rates, asthma related visits to general practice and hospital, health status measures, and corticosteroid dosage between the two groups. Results The proportions of subjects with asthma exacerbations were not significantly different (stepdown 31%, control 26%, P=0.354). Similarly, the numbers of visits to general practice or hospital and the disease specific and generic measures of health status over the one year period were not significantly different. On average the stepdown group received 348 μg (95% confidence interval 202 μgto494 μg) of beclomethasone dipropionate less per day than the controls (a difference of 25%), with no difference in the annual dose of oral corticosteroids between the two treatment regimens. Conclusions By adopting a stepdown approach to the use of inhaled steroids at high doses in asthma a reduction in the dose can be achieved without compromising asthma control. PMID:12763981
Summary Ethical considerations in standard medical care and clinical research are underpinnings to quality medicine. Similarly, the placebo-controlled double-blind randomised clinical trial is the gold standard for medical research and fundamental to the development of evidence-based medicine. Researchers and clinicians are challenged by ethical concerns in the informed consent with a need to maximise understanding and minimise therapeutic misconception. This editorial expands on themes raised by Chen et al’s article ‘Disclosing the Potential Impact of Placebo Controls in Antidepressant Trials’ and serves as an invitation for further submissions to BJPsych Open on ethics, research design and informed consent. Declaration of interest None. Copyright and usage © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.
Background The activitystat hypothesis proposes that when physical activity or energy expenditure is increased or decreased in one domain, there will be a compensatory change in another domain to maintain an overall, stable level of physical activity or energy expenditure. To date, there has been no experimental study primarily designed to test the activitystat hypothesis in adults. The aim of this trial is to determine the effect of two different imposed exercise loads on total daily energy expenditure and physical activity levels. Methods This study will be a randomised, multi-arm, parallel controlled trial. Insufficiently active adults (as determined by the Active Australia survey) aged 18–60 years old will be recruited for this study (n=146). Participants must also satisfy the Sports Medicine Australia Pre-Exercise Screening System and must weigh less than 150 kg. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups using a computer-generated allocation sequence. Participants in the Moderate exercise group will receive an additional 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week for six weeks, and those in the Extensive exercise group will receive an additional 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week for six weeks. Exercise targets will be accumulated through both group and individual exercise sessions monitored by heart rate telemetry. Control participants will not be given any instructions regarding lifestyle. The primary outcome measures are activity energy expenditure (doubly labeled water) and physical activity (accelerometry). Secondary measures will include resting metabolic rate via indirect calorimetry, use of time, maximal oxygen consumption and several anthropometric and physiological measures. Outcome measures will be conducted at baseline (zero weeks), mid- and end-intervention (three and six weeks) with three (12 weeks) and six month (24 week) follow-up. All assessors will be blinded to group
Roux, Gemma; Sofronoff, Kate; Sanders, Matthew
Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) is a parenting program designed for families of a child with a disability. The current study involved a randomized controlled trial of Group Stepping Stones Triple P (GSSTP) for a mixed-disability group. Participants were 52 families of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or an intellectual disability. The results demonstrated significant improvements in parent-reported child behavior, parenting styles, parental satisfaction, and conflict about parenting. Results among participants were similar despite children's differing impairments. The intervention effect was maintained at 6-month follow-up. The results indicate that GSSTP is a promising intervention for a mixed-disability group. Limitations of the study, along with areas for future research, are also discussed.
Roux, Gemma; Sofronoff, Kate; Sanders, Matthew
Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) is a parenting program designed for families of a child with a disability. The current study involved a randomized controlled trial of Group Stepping Stones Triple P (GSSTP) for a mixed-disability group. Participants were 52 families of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or an intellectual disability. The results demonstrated significant improvements in parent-reported child behavior, parenting styles, parental satisfaction, and conflict about parenting. Results among participants were similar despite children's differing impairments. The intervention effect was maintained at 6-month follow-up. The results indicate that GSSTP is a promising intervention for a mixed-disability group. Limitations of the study, along with areas for future research, are also discussed. PMID:24033239
French, Helen P; Cusack, Tara; Brennan, Aisling; White, Breon; Gilsenan, Clare; Fitzpatrick, Martina; O'Connell, Paul; Kane, David; FitzGerald, Oliver; McCarthy, Geraldine M
Background Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip is a major cause of functional disability and reduced quality of life. Management options aim to reduce pain and improve or maintain physical functioning. Current evidence indicates that therapeutic exercise has a beneficial but short-term effect on pain and disability, with poor long-term benefit. The optimal content, duration and type of exercise are yet to be ascertained. There has been little scientific investigation into the effectiveness of manual therapy in hip OA. Only one randomized controlled trial (RCT) found greater improvements in patient-perceived improvement and physical function with manual therapy, compared to exercise therapy. Methods and design An assessor-blind multicentre RCT will be undertaken to compare the effect of a combination of manual therapy and exercise therapy, exercise therapy only, and a waiting-list control on physical function in hip OA. One hundred and fifty people with a diagnosis of hip OA will be recruited and randomly allocated to one of 3 groups: exercise therapy, exercise therapy with manual therapy and a waiting-list control. Subjects in the intervention groups will attend physiotherapy for 6–8 sessions over 8 weeks. Those in the control group will remain on the waiting list until after this time and will then be re-randomised to one of the two intervention groups. Outcome measures will include physical function (WOMAC), pain severity (numerical rating scale), patient perceived change (7-point Likert scale), quality of life (SF-36), mood (hospital anxiety and depression scale), patient satisfaction, physical activity (IPAQ) and physical measures of range of motion, 50-foot walk and repeated sit-to stand tests. Discussion This RCT will compare the effectiveness of the addition of manual therapy to exercise therapy to exercise therapy only and a waiting-list control in hip OA. A high quality methodology will be used in keeping with CONSORT guidelines. The results will contribute
Background Clinical practice guidelines recommend that the initial treatment of acute low back pain (LBP) should consist of advice to stay active and regular simple analgesics such as paracetamol 4 g daily. Despite this recommendation in all international LBP guidelines there are no placebo controlled trials assessing the efficacy of paracetamol for LBP at any dose or dose regimen. This study aims to determine whether 4 g of paracetamol daily (in divided doses) results in a more rapid recovery from acute LBP than placebo. A secondary aim is to determine if ingesting paracetamol in a time-contingent manner is more effective than paracetamol taken when required (PRN) for recovery from acute LBP. Methods/Design The study is a randomised double dummy placebo controlled trial. 1650 care seeking people with significant acute LBP will be recruited. All participants will receive advice to stay active and will be randomised to 1 of 3 treatment groups: time-contingent paracetamol dose regimen (plus placebo PRN paracetamol), PRN paracetamol (plus placebo time-contingent paracetamol) or a double placebo study arm. The primary outcome will be time (days) to recovery from pain recorded in a daily pain diary. Other outcomes will be pain intensity, disability, function, global perceived effect and sleep quality, captured at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 4 and 12 by an assessor blind to treatment allocation. An economic analysis will be conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of treatment from the health sector and societal perspectives. Discussion The successful completion of the trial will provide the first high quality evidence on the effectiveness of the use of paracetamol, a guideline endorsed treatment for acute LBP. Trail registration ACTRN12609000966291. PMID:20650012
In this controlled multicentre trial treatment with either streptokinase or heparin was allocated at random to patients suffering from myocardial infarction of less than 24 hours' duration. Treatment with either drug was standardized and lasted for 24 hours. A total of 764 patients entered the trial; 34 patient charts were rejected (including all 28 charts from one centre) because of data failure. On retrospective analysis of the 730 remaining patients the two groups were found to have been comparable at the start. The total hospital mortality was 18·5% of 373 patients allotted to streptokinase treatment and 26·3% of 357 given herapin. The mortality after infusion (24 hours) was 10·6% of 340 patients treated with streptokinase and 17·8% of 320 given herapin (P=0·011). Reinfarction in hospital after the 24-hour period of infusion occurred significantly less often in patients treated with streptokinase (P=0·036). Bleeding from puncture sites and pyrexia occurred more frequently during streptokinase treatment. After exclusion of those patients whose diagnosis was unconfirmed on retrospective assessment, the total hospital mortality rate was 19·0% of 357 patients treated with streptokinase and 27·4% of 339 treated with heparin (P=0·011). These results indicate that in recent myocardial infarction streptokinase was superior to heparin in reducing mortality and reinfarction rate during an average period of six weeks in hospital. PMID:4934187
Paulino, Niraldo; Nör, Jacques E.; Moreira, Alexandre
Abstract Background: A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a propolis rinse on induced gingivitis by using the co-twin study design. Methods: Twenty-one twin pairs (n=42) were enrolled in a gingivitis study with oral hygiene promotion (14 days) and gingivitis induction (21 days). During the gingivitis induction phase, one member of the twin pair was randomly assigned to a 2% typified propolis rinse, and the other was assigned a color-matched 0.05% sodium fluoride plus 0.05% cetylpyridinium chloride rinse (positive control). Patients rinsed twice daily with 20 mL for 30 seconds for 21 days. Gingivitis was measured on days −14 (baseline), 0 (after hygiene phase), and 21 (after no-hygiene phase) by using the Papillary Bleeding Score (PBS) and by standard digital imaging of the gum tissues (G-parameter). Results: The 38 persons who completed the study (age 13–22 years) were well balanced according to PBS at baseline and G-parameter after the initial hygiene phase. After 21 days without oral hygiene, the propolis rinse and positive control rinse groups did not differ significantly for average PBS measurements or G-parameter. Conclusions: Use of a 2% typified propolis rinse was equivalent to a positive control rinse during a 21-day no-hygiene period. PMID:25380344
Clark, William F; Sontrop, Jessica M; Huang, Shih-Han; Gallo, Kerri; Moist, Louise; House, Andrew A; Weir, Matthew A; Garg, Amit X
Background and objectives Increased water intake may benefit kidney function. Prior to initiating a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT), we examined the safety and feasibility of asking adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to increase their water intake. Design, setting, participants and measurements Beginning in October 2012, we randomly assigned 29 adults with stage 3 CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 30–60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and albuminuria) to one of the two groups of water intake: hydration (n=18) or standard (n=11). We asked the hydration group to increase their water intake by 1.0–1.5 L/day (in addition to usual intake, depending on sex and weight) for 6 weeks, while the control group carried on with their usual intake. Participants collected a 24 h urine sample at baseline and at 2 and 6 weeks after randomisation. Our primary outcome was the between-group difference in change in 24 h urine volume from baseline to 6 weeks. Results (63%)of participants were men, 81% were Caucasians and the average age was 61 years (SD 14 years). The average baseline eGFR was 40 mL/min/1.73 m2 (SD 11 mL/min/1.73 m2); the median albumin to creatinine ratio was 19 mg/mmol (IQR 6–74 mg/mmol). Between baseline and 6-week follow-up, the hydration group's average 24 h urine volume increased by 0.7 L/day (from 2.3 to 3.0 L/day) and the control group's 24 h urine decreased by 0.3 L/day (from 2.0 to 1.7 L/day; between-group difference in change: 0.9 L/day (95% CI 0.4 to 1.5; p=0.002)). We found no significant changes in urine, serum osmolality or electrolyte concentrations, or eGFR. No serious adverse events or changes in quality of life were reported. Conclusions A pilot RCT indicates adults with stage 3 CKD can successfully and safely increase water intake by up to 0.7 L/day in addition to usual fluid intake. Trial registration Registered with Clinical Trials—government identifier NCT01753466. PMID:24362012
Stewart, Kay; Mc Namara, Kevin P; George, Johnson
Measurement of adherence is complex and many methods, both direct and indirect are used; there is no universal gold standard. In this article, we share our experiences in a randomised controlled study, the Hypertension Adherence Program in Pharmacy trial, evaluating a community pharmacy-based intervention for improving adherence to antihypertensive medication. Several objective and subjective measures of adherence (Morisky score, TABS score, MedsIndex, Medicines Possession Ratio) were used, but produced varying results, limiting confidence in the conclusions that could be drawn. Despite using a specifically designed data mining software program to identify potentially nonadherent patients from dispensing records, many participants were found to be adherent by the self reported Morisky scale. A lesson to be learned when targeting people for interventions to improve adherence is that information from dispensing records should be supplemented by other methods in order to identify patients most in need of assistance.
Resnik, David B
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are becoming increasingly common in environmental health research. Like all studies involving human subjects, environmental health RCTs raise many ethical challenges, ranging from obtaining informed consent to minimizing risks to protecting privacy and confidentiality. One of the most important issues raised by these studies is whether it is ethical to withhold effective environmental health interventions from research subjects in order to satisfy scientific objectives. Although environmental health investigators usually do not have professional obligations to provide medical care to research subjects, they have ethical obligations to avoid exploiting them. Withholding interventions from research subjects can be ethical, provided that it does not lead to exploitation of individuals or groups. To avoid exploiting individuals or groups, investigators should ensure that research subjects and study populations receive a fair share of the benefits of research.
Boussageon, Rémy; Gueyffier, François; Bejan-Angoulvant, Theodora; Felden-Dominiak, Géraldine
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials are currently the best way to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of drugs. Its methodology relies on the method of difference (John Stuart Mill), through which the observed difference between two groups (drug vs placebo) can be attributed to the pharmacological effect of the drug being tested. However, this additive model can be questioned in the event of statistical interactions between the pharmacological and the placebo effects. Evidence in different domains has shown that the placebo effect can influence the effect of the active principle. This article evaluates the methodological, clinical and epistemological consequences of this phenomenon. Topics treated include extrapolating results, accounting for heterogeneous results, demonstrating the existence of several factors in the placebo effect, the necessity to take these factors into account for given symptoms or pathologies, as well as the problem of the "specific" effect.
Spillane, James P.; Pareja, Amber Stitziel; Dorner, Lisa; Barnes, Carol; May, Henry; Huff, Jason; Camburn, Eric
In this paper we described how we mixed research approaches in a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) of a school principal professional development program. Using examples from our study we illustrate how combining qualitative and quantitative data can address some key challenges from validating instruments and measures of mediator variables to…
Ong, Jason C.; Manber, Rachel; Segal, Zindel; Xia, Yinglin; Shapiro, Shauna; Wyatt, James K.
Study Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Design: Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Interventions: Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Measurements and Results: Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P < 0.05), with the largest difference occurring at the 3-month follow-up. Remission and response rates in MBTI and MBSR were sustained from post-treatment through follow-up, with MBTI showing the highest rates of treatment remission (50%) and response (78.6%) at the 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Trial Registration: Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia: clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00768781 Citation: Ong JC, Manber R, Segal Z, Xia Y
Garnæs, Kirsti Krohn; Mørkved, Siv; Salvesen, Øyvind; Moholdt, Trine
of 0.1 (95% CI 0.02, 0.95; p = 0.04). Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the exercise group (mean 120.4 mm Hg) compared to the control group (mean 128.1 mm Hg), with a mean difference of −7.73 mm Hg (95% CI −13.23, −2.22; p = 0.006). No significant between-group differences were seen in diastolic blood pressure, blood measurements, skinfold thickness, or body composition in late pregnancy. In per protocol analyses, late pregnancy systolic blood pressure was 115.7 (95% CI 110.0, 121.5) mm Hg in the exercise group (significant between-group difference, p = 0.001), and diastolic blood pressure was 75.1 (95% CI 71.6, 78.7) mm Hg (significant between-group difference, p = 0.02). We had planned to recruit 150 women into the trial; hence, under-recruitment represents a major limitation of our results. Another limitation to our study was the low adherence to the exercise program, with only 50% of the women included in the intention-to-treat analysis adhering as described in the study protocol. Conclusions In this trial we did not observe a reduction in GWG among overweight/obese women who received a supervised exercise training program during their pregnancy. The incidence of GDM in late pregnancy seemed to be lower in the women randomized to exercise training than in the women receiving standard maternity care only. Systolic blood pressure in late pregnancy was also apparently lower in the exercise group than in the control group. These results indicate that supervised exercise training might be beneficial as a part of standard pregnancy care for overweight/obese women. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01243554 PMID:27459375
Mohr, David C; Spring, Bonnie; Freedland, Kenneth E; Beckner, Victoria; Arean, Patricia; Hollon, Steven D; Ockene, Judith; Kaplan, Robert
The randomized controlled trial (RCT) provides critical support for evidence-based practice using psychological interventions. The control condition is the principal method of removing the influence of unwanted variables in RCTs. There is little agreement or consistency in the design and construction of control conditions. Because control conditions have variable effects, the results of RCTs can depend as much on control condition selection as on the experimental intervention. The aim of this paper is to present a framework for the selection and design of control conditions for these trials. Threats to internal validity arising from modern RCT methodology are reviewed and reconsidered. The strengths and weaknesses of several categories of control conditions are examined, including the ones that are under experimental control, the ones that are under the control of clinical service providers, and no-treatment controls. Considerations in the selection of control conditions are discussed and several recommendations are proposed. The aim of this paper is to begin to define principles by which control conditions can be selected or developed in a manner that can assist both investigators and grant reviewers.
Clarke, Paula J; Snowling, Margaret J; Truelove, Emma; Hulme, Charles
Children with specific reading-comprehension difficulties can read accurately, but they have poor comprehension. In a randomized controlled trial, we examined the efficacy of three interventions designed to improve such children's reading comprehension: text-comprehension (TC) training, oral-language (OL) training, and TC and OL training combined (COM). Children were assessed preintervention, midintervention, postintervention, and at an 11-month follow-up. All intervention groups made significant improvements in reading comprehension relative to an untreated control group. Although these gains were maintained at follow-up in the TC and COM groups, the OL group made greater gains than the other groups did between the end of the intervention and follow-up. The OL and COM groups also demonstrated significant improvements in expressive vocabulary compared with the control group, and this was a mediator of the improved reading comprehension of the OL and COM groups. We conclude that specific reading-comprehension difficulties reflect (at least partly) underlying oral-language weaknesses that can be effectively ameliorated by suitable teaching.
Praga, M; Barrio, V; Juárez, G Fernández; Luño, J
Membranous nephropathy is a common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. Although some patients with membranous nephropathy achieve a spontaneous remission, renal function continues to deteriorate in others. We conducted a prospective randomized trial evaluating monotherapy with tacrolimus to achieve complete or partial remission in patients with biopsy-proven membranous nephropathy. Twenty-five patients received tacrolimus (0.05 mg/kg/day) over 12 months with a 6-month taper, whereas 23 patients were in the control group. The probability of remission in the treatment group was 58, 82, and 94% after 6, 12, and 18 months but only 10, 24, and 35%, respectively in the control group. The decrease in proteinuria was significantly greater in the treatment group. Notably, six patients in the control group and only one in the treatment group reached the secondary end point of a 50% increase in their serum creatinine. No patient in the tacrolimus group showed a relapse during the taper period. Nephrotic syndrome reappeared in almost half of the patients who were in remission by the 18th month after tacrolimus withdrawal. We conclude that tacrolimus is a very useful therapeutic option for patients with membranous nephropathy and preserved renal function. The majority of patients experienced remission with a significant reduction in the risk for deteriorating renal function.
Kim, Ji Young; Gum, Si Nae; Paik, Jean Kyung; Lim, Hyo Hee; Kim, Kyong-Chol; Ogasawara, Kazuya; Inoue, Kenichi; Park, Sungha; Jang, Yangsoo; Lee, Jong Ho
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of nattokinase supplementation on blood pressure in subjects with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 86 participants ranging from 20 to 80 years of age with an initial untreated systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 130 to 159 mmHg received nattokinase (2,000 FU/capsule) or a placebo capsule for 8 weeks. Seventy-three subjects completed the protocol. Compared with the control group, the net changes in SBP and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were -5.55 mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI], -10.5 to -0.57 mmHg; p<0.05) and -2.84 mmHg (CI, -5.33 to -0.33 mmHg; p<0.05), respectively, after the 8-week intervention. The corresponding net change in renin activity was -1.17 ng/mL/h for the nattokinase group compared with the control group (p<0.05). In conclusion, nattokinase supplementation resulted in a reduction in SBP and DBP. These findings suggest that increased intake of nattokinase may play an important role in preventing and treating hypertension.
Potter, Kathleen; Flicker, Leon; Page, Amy; Etherton-Beer, Christopher
Objectives Deprescribing has been proposed as a way to reduce polypharmacy in frail older people. We aimed to reduce the number of medicines consumed by people living in residential aged care facilities (RACF). Secondary objectives were to explore the effect of deprescribing on survival, falls, fractures, hospital admissions, cognitive, physical, and bowel function, quality of life, and sleep. Methods Ninety-five people aged over 65 years living in four RACF in rural mid-west Western Australia were randomised in an open study. The intervention group (n = 47) received a deprescribing intervention, the planned cessation of non-beneficial medicines. The control group (n = 48) received usual care. Participants were monitored for twelve months from randomisation. Primary outcome was change in the mean number of unique regular medicines. All outcomes were assessed at baseline, six, and twelve months. Results Study participants had a mean age of 84.3±6.9 years and 52% were female. Intervention group participants consumed 9.6±5.0 and control group participants consumed 9.5±3.6 unique regular medicines at baseline. Of the 348 medicines targeted for deprescribing (7.4±3.8 per person, 78% of regular medicines), 207 medicines (4.4±3.4 per person, 59% of targeted medicines) were successfully discontinued. The mean change in number of regular medicines at 12 months was -1.9±4.1 in intervention group participants and +0.1±3.5 in control group participants (estimated difference 2.0±0.9, 95%CI 0.08, 3.8, p = 0.04). Twelve intervention participants and 19 control participants died within 12 months of randomisation (26% versus 40% mortality, p = 0.16, HR 0.60, 95%CI 0.30 to 1.22) There were no significant differences between groups in other secondary outcomes. The main limitations of this study were the open design and small participant numbers. Conclusions Deprescribing reduced the number of regular medicines consumed by frail older people living in residential care with no
Ware, Mark A.; Wang, Tongtong; Shapiro, Stan; Robinson, Ann; Ducruet, Thierry; Huynh, Thao; Gamsa, Ann; Bennett, Gary J.; Collet, Jean-Paul
-term safety and efficacy studies are indicated. (International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Register no. ISRCTN68314063) PMID:20805210
Raed, Anas; Donnino, Michael W.; Ginde, Adit A.; Waikar, Sushrut S.
Rationale: Vitamin D and its metabolites have potent immunomodulatory effects in vitro, including up-regulation of cathelicidin, a critical antimicrobial protein. Objectives: We investigated whether administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) to critically ill patients with sepsis would have beneficial effects on markers of innate immunity, inflammation, and kidney injury. Methods: We performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, physiologic study among 67 critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Patients were randomized to receive a single dose of calcitriol (2 μg intravenously) versus placebo. The primary outcome was plasma cathelicidin protein levels assessed 24 hours after study drug administration. Secondary outcomes included leukocyte cathelicidin mRNA expression, plasma cytokine levels (IL-10, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and IL-2), and urinary kidney injury markers. Measurements and Main Results: Patients randomized to calcitriol (n = 36) versus placebo (n = 31) had similar plasma cathelicidin protein levels at 24 hours (P = 0.16). Calcitriol-treated patients had higher cathelicidin (P = 0.04) and IL-10 (P = 0.03) mRNA expression than placebo-treated patients 24 hours after study drug administration. Plasma cytokine levels (IL-10, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and IL-2) and urinary kidney injury markers were similar in calcitriol- versus placebo-treated patients (P > 0.05 for all comparisons). Calcitriol had no effect on clinical outcomes nor were any adverse effects observed. Conclusions: Calcitriol administration did not increase plasma cathelicidin protein levels in critically ill patients with sepsis and had mixed effects on other immunomodulatory markers. Additional phase II trials investigating the dose and timing of calcitriol as a therapeutic agent in specific sepsis phenotypes may be warranted. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 01689441). PMID:25029202
Carosso, Elizabeth; Mariscal, Norma; Islas, Ilda; Ibarra, Genoveva; Holte, Sarah; Copeland, Wade; Linde, Sandra; Thompson, Beti
Introduction Hispanics are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle interventions are effective in preventing diabetes and restoring glucose regulation. Methods We recruited Hispanic men and women (N = 320) who were residents of the Lower Yakima Valley, Washington, aged 18 years or older with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels higher than 6% to a parallel 2-arm randomized-controlled trial conducted from 2008 through 2012. The trial compared participants in the intervention arm, who received an immediate educational curriculum (n = 166), to participants in the control arm, who received a delayed educational curriculum (n = 154). The home-based curriculum consisted of 5 sessions led by community health workers and was designed to inform participants about diabetes, diabetes treatment, and healthy dietary and physical activity behaviors. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention and control arms, and analysts were blinded as to participant arm. We evaluated intervention effects on HbA1c levels; frequency (times per week) of fruit and vegetable consumption; and frequency (times per week) of mild, moderate, and strenuous leisure-time physical activity. At baseline, 3 months, and 6 months after randomization, participants completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample. Analysts were blinded to intervention arm. Results The immediate intervention group (−0.64% [standard error (SE) 0.10]) showed a significant improvement in HbA1c scores (–37.5%, P = .04) compared with the delayed intervention group (–0.44%, P = .14). No significant changes were seen for dietary end points or changes in physical activity. We did observe a trend of greater increases in frequency of moderate and vigorous physical activity and a smaller increase in mild physical activity in the immediate intervention group than in the delayed intervention group. Conclusion This home-based intervention delivered by CHWs was associated with a clinically and statistically
Rodrigue, James R; Pavlakis, Martha; Egbuna, Ogo; Paek, Matthew; Waterman, Amy D; Mandelbrot, Didier A
Despite a substantially lower rate of live donor kidney transplantation among Black Americans compared to White Americans, there are few systematic efforts to reduce this racial disparity. This paper describes the rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the comparative effectiveness of three different educational interventions for increasing live donor kidney transplantation in Black Americans. This trial is a single-site, urn-randomized controlled trial with a planned enrollment of 180 Black Americans awaiting kidney transplantation. Patients are randomized to receive transplant education in one of three education conditions: through group education at their homes (e.g., House Calls), or through group (Group-Based) or individual education (Individual Counseling) in the transplant center. The primary outcome of the trial is the occurrence of a live donor kidney transplant, with secondary outcomes including living donor inquiries and evaluations as well as changes in patient live donor kidney transplantation readiness, willingness, knowledge, and concerns. Sex, age, dialysis status, and quality of life are evaluated as moderating factors. Findings from this clinical trial have the potential to inform strategies for reducing racial disparities in live donor kidney transplantation. Similar trials have been developed recently to broaden the evaluation of House Calls as an innovative disparity-reducing intervention in kidney transplantation. PMID:22510472
Olivera, Carolina M X; Vianna, Elcio Oliveira; Bonizio, Roni C; de Menezes, Marcelo B; Ferraz, Erica; Cetlin, Andrea A; Valdevite, Laura M; Almeida, Gustavo A; Araujo, Ana S; Simoneti, Christian S; de Freitas, Amanda; Lizzi, Elisangela A; Borges, Marcos C; de Freitas, Osvaldo
Information for patients provided by the pharmacist is reflected in adhesion to treatment, clinical results and patient quality of life. The objective of this study was to assess an asthma self-management model for rational medicine use. This was a randomized controlled trial with 60 asthmatic patients assigned to attend five modules presented by a pharmacist (intervention group) and 59 patients in the control group. Data collection was performed before and after this 4-month intervention and included an evaluation of asthma knowledge, lifestyle, inhaler techniques, adhesion to treatment, pulmonary function and quality of life. An economic viability analysis was also performed. The intervention group obtained an increase in asthma knowledge scores of 58.3-79.5% (P < 0.001). In this group, there was also an increase in the number of individuals who practiced physical exercise (36-43%), in the number of correct replies regarding the use of inhalers, in the percentage of adherent patients, and in quality of life scores for all domains. We concluded that this asthma self-management model was effective in improving the quality of life of asthma patients. PMID:27473571
Hollifield, Michael; Sinclair-Lian, Nityamo; Warner, Teddy D; Hammerschlag, Richard
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potential efficacy and acceptability of accupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People diagnosed with PTSD were randomized to either an empirically developed accupuncture treatment (ACU), a group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or a wait-list control (WLC). The primary outcome measure was self-reported PTSD symptoms at baseline, end treatment, and 3-month follow-up. Repeated measures MANOVA was used to detect predicted Group X Time effects in both intent-to-treat (ITT) and treatment completion models. Compared with the WLC condition in the ITT model, accupuncture provided large treatment effects for PTSD (F [1, 46] = 12.60; p < 0.01; Cohen's d = 1.29), similar in magnitude to group CBT (F [1, 47] = 12.45; p < 0.01; d = 1.42) (ACU vs. CBT, d = 0.29). Symptom reductions at end treatment were maintained at 3-month follow-up for both interventions. Accupuncture may be an efficacious and acceptable nonexposure treatment option for PTSD. Larger trials with additional controls and methods are warranted to replicate and extend these findings. PMID:17568299
Perales, M; Refoyo, I; Coteron, J; Bacchi, M; Barakat, R
Recent studies have estimated the prevalence of depression during pregnancy to be between 10% and 30%, which is higher than that in the postpartum period. Pharmacological treatment during pregnancy is difficult because of the possible side effects of antidepressants on the mother and the fetus. The aim of this study was to examine whether a supervised exercise program (EP) reduces depressive symptoms in pregnant women. A randomized controlled trial was designed. One hundred eighty four healthy pregnant women from Fuenlabrada Hospital were included (31.37 ± 3.62 years). Women from the exercise group (EG) participated in a supervised EP consisting of three, 55- to 60-min sessions per week throughout pregnancy. The main outcome measure was the patients' depression level assessed by means of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). A total of 167 pregnant women were analyzed; 90 were allocated to the EG and 77 to the control group (CG). Significant differences were found between groups at the end of the study in CES-D scores (EG: 7.67 ± 6.30 vs. CG: 11.34 ± 9.74, p = .005) and in percentages of pregnant women depressed (EG: n = 11/12.2% vs. CG: n = 19/24.7%, p = .04). Our results show that supervised physical exercise during pregnancy reduces the level of depression and its incidence in pregnant women.
Cousineau, Tara M.; Green, Traci C.; Corsini, Evelyn; Seibring, A; Showstack, Marianne T.; Applegarth, Linda; Davidson, Marie; Perloe, Mark
BACKGROUND The study goal was to develop and test the effectiveness of a brief online education and support program for female infertility patients. METHODS A randomized-controlled trial was conducted. Using a Solomon-four group design, 190 female patients were recruited from three US fertility centers and were randomized into two experimental and two no-treatment control groups. The psychological outcomes assessed included infertility distress, infertility self-efficacy, decisional conflict, marital cohesion and coping style. Program dosage and satisfaction were also assessed at four weeks follow-up. RESULTS Women exposed to the online program significantly improved in the area of social concerns (P = 0.038) related to infertility distress, and felt more informed about a medical decision with which they were contending (P = 0.037). Trends were observed for decreased global stress (P = 0.10), sexual concerns (P = 0.059), distress related to child-free living (P = 0.063), increased infertility self-efficacy (P = 0.067) and decision making clarity (P = 0.079). A dosage response was observed in the experimental groups for women who spent >60 min online for decreased global stress (P = 0.028) and increased self efficacy (P = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS This evidence-based eHealth program for women experiencing infertility suggests that a web-based patient education intervention can have beneficial effects in several psychological domains and may be a cost effective resource for fertility practices. PMID:18089552
Beatty, Stephen; Stack, Jim; Dennison, Jessica; O’Regan, Sarah; Meagher, Katherine A.; Peto, Tunde; Nolan, John
Purpose The Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST) aim to investigate the potential impact of macular pigment (MP) enrichment, following supplementation with a formulation containing 10 mg lutein (L), 2 mg zeaxanthin (Z) and 10 mg meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), on visual function in normal subjects (Trial 1) and in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD; Trial 2). Methods CREST is a single center, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Trial 1 (12-month follow-up) subjects are randomly assigned to a formulation containing 10 mg L, 10 mg MZ and 2 mg Z (n = 60) or placebo (n = 60). Trial 2 (24-month follow-up) subjects are randomly assigned to a formulation containing 10 mg L, 10 mg MZ, 2 mg Z plus 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 25 mg zinc and 2 mg copper (Intervention A; n = 75) or 10 mg L and 2 mg Z plus 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 25 mg zinc and 2 mg copper (Intervention B; n = 75). Contrast sensitivity (CS) at 6 cycles per degree represents the primary outcome measure in each trial. Secondary outcomes include: CS at other spatial frequencies, MP, best-corrected visual acuity, glare disability, photostress recovery, light scatter, cognitive function, foveal architecture, serum carotenoid concentrations, and subjective visual function. For Trial 2, AMD morphology, reading speed and reading acuity are also being recorded. Conclusions CREST is the first study to investigate the impact of supplementation with all three macular carotenoids in the context of a large, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. PMID:24621122
de Melo-Martín, Inmaculada; Sondhi, Dolan; Crystal, Ronald G
For more than three decades clinical research in the United States has been explicitly guided by the idea that ethical considerations must be central to research design and practice. In spite of the centrality of this idea, attempting to balance the sometimes conflicting values of advancing scientific knowledge and protecting human subjects continues to pose challenges. Possible conflicts between the standards of scientific research and those of ethics are particularly salient in relation to trial design. Specifically, the choice of a control arm is an aspect of trial design in which ethical and scientific issues are deeply entwined. Although ethical quandaries related to the choice of control arms may arise when conducting any type of clinical trials, they are conspicuous in early phase gene transfer trials that involve highly novel approaches and surgical procedures and have children as the research subjects. Because of children's and their parents' vulnerabilities, in trials that investigate therapies for fatal, rare diseases affecting minors, the scientific and ethical concerns related to choosing appropriate controls are particularly significant. In this paper we use direct gene transfer to the central nervous system to treat late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis to illustrate some of these ethical issues and explore possible solutions to real and apparent conflicts between scientific and ethical considerations.
Telle, Nils-Torge; Moock, Jörn; Heuchert, Sandra; Schulte, Vivian; Rössler, Wulf; Kawohl, Wolfram
Sickness absence from work due to experienced distress and mental health issues has continuously increased over the past years in Germany. To investigate how this alarming development can be counteracted, we conducted a randomized controlled trial evaluating a job coaching intervention to maintain the working capacity of members of staff and ultimately prevent sickness absence. Our sample included N = 99 employees who reported mental distress due to work-related problems. The intervention group (n = 58) received between 8 and 12 individual job coaching sessions in which they worked with a professional job coach to reduce their mental distress. The control group (n = 41) received a brochure about mental distress. Data were collected before the start of the study, at the end of the job coaching intervention, and at a 3-month follow-up. These data included the number of sickness absence days as the primary outcome and questionnaire measures to assess burnout indicators, life satisfaction, and work-related experiences and behaviors. Compared with the control group, the results indicated no reduction in sickness absence in the intervention group but fewer depressive symptoms, a heightened ability of the participants to distance themselves from work, more experience of work-related success, less depletion of emotional resources, and a greater satisfaction with life when participants had received the job coaching. Thus, although we could not detect a reduction in sickness absence between the groups, job coaching was shown to be a viable intervention technique to benefit employees by contributing to re-establish their mental health. We discuss the implications of the study and outline future research. PMID:27703964
Gsteiger, Sandro; Neuenschwander, Beat; Mercier, Francois; Schmidli, Heinz
Results from clinical trials are never interpreted in isolation. Previous studies in a similar setting provide valuable information for designing a new trial. For the analysis, however, the use of trial-external information is challenging and therefore controversial, although it seems attractive from an ethical or efficiency perspective. Here, we consider the formal use of historical control data on lesion counts in a multiple sclerosis trial. The approach to incorporating historical data is Bayesian, in that historical information is captured in a prior that accounts for between-trial variability and hence leads to discounting of historical data. We extend the meta-analytic-predictive approach, a random-effects meta-analysis of historical data combined with the prediction of the parameter in the new trial, from normal to overdispersed count data of individual-patient or aggregate-trial format. We discuss the prior derivation for the lesion mean count in the control group of the new trial for two populations. For the general population (without baseline enrichment), with 1936 control patients from nine historical trials, between-trial variability was moderate to substantial, leading to a prior effective sample size of about 45 control patients. For the more homogenous population (with enrichment), with 412 control patients from five historical trials, the prior effective sample size was approximately 63 patients. Although these numbers are small relative to the historical data, they are fairly typical in settings where between-trial heterogeneity is moderate. For phase II, reducing the number of control patients by 45 or by 63 may be an attractive option in many multiple sclerosis trials.
Wright, Nat MJ; Sheard, Laura; Adams, Clive E; Rushforth, Bruno J; Harrison, Wendy; Bound, Nicole; Hart, Roger; Tompkins, Charlotte NE
Background Many opiate users require prescribed medication to help them achieve abstinence, commonly taking the form of a detoxification regime. In UK prisons, drug users are nearly universally treated for their opiate use by primary care clinicians, and once released access GP services where 40% of practices now treat drug users. There is a paucity of evidence evaluating methadone and buprenorphine (the two most commonly prescribed agents in the UK) for opiate detoxification. Aim To evaluate whether buprenorphine or methadone help to achieve drug abstinence at completion of a reducing regimen for heroin users presenting to UK prison health care for detoxification. Design Open-label, pragmatic, randomised controlled trial in three prison primary healthcare departments in the north of England. Method Prisoners (n = 306) using illicit opiates were recruited and given daily sublingual buprenorphine or oral methadone, in the context of routine care, over a standard reduced regimen of not more than 20 days. The primary outcome measure was abstinence from illicit opiates at 8 days post detoxification, as indicated by urine test (self-report/clinical notes where urine sample was not feasible). Secondary outcomes were also recorded. Results Abstinence was ascertained for 73.7% at 8 days post detoxification (urine sample = 52.6%, self report = 15.2%, clinical notes = 5.9%). There was no statistically significant difference in the odds of achieving abstinence between methadone and buprenorphine (odds ratio [OR] = 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.81 to 3.51; P = 0.163). Abstinence was associated solely with whether or not the participant was still in prison at that time (15.22 times the odds; 95% CI = 4.19 to 55.28). The strongest association for lasting abstinence was abstinence at an earlier time point. Conclusion There is equal clinical effectiveness between methadone and buprenorphine in achieving abstinence from opiates at 8 days post detoxification within prison
Omrani, Mohammadreza; Barati, Behrouz; Omidifar, Navid; Okhovvat, Ahmad Reza; Hashemi, Seyed Amirhossein Ghazizadeh
BACKGROUND: Coblation tonsillectomy is a new surgical technique and demands further research to be proven as a suitable and standard method of tonsillectomy. This study compares coblation and traditional tonsillectomy techniques in view of their advantages and complications. METHODS: In a prospective double-blind randomized controlled trial information on operation time, intraoperative blood loss, postoperative pain, time needed to regain the normal diet and activity and postoperative hemorrhage were gathered and compared between two groups containing 47 patients in each group. RESULTS: We found statistically significant differences in operation time (p < 0.05), intraoperative blood loss (p < 0.05), postoperative pain (p < 0.001), time needed to find back the normal diet (p < 0.001) and normal activity (p < 0.001). However, post operation hemorrhage (p > 0.5) was not significantly different between two groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed a significantly less intraoperative or postoperative complications and morbidity in coblation tonsillectomy in comparison with traditional method. Coblation was associated with less pain and quick return to normal diet and daily activity. These findings addressed coblation tonsillectomy as an advanced method. PMID:23248656
Turner, Travis H; Renfroe, Jenna B; Morella, Kristen; Marriott, Bernadette P
Many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of neuropsychiatric conditions involve cognitive outcome measures; however, validity of cognitive data relies on adequate effort during testing, and such screening is seldom performed. Given well-established rates of 10 to 30% poor effort in clinical settings, this is not a trivial concern. This preliminary study evaluated effort during cognitive testing in an RCT of omega-3 supplementation to reduce suicidality in a high-risk psychiatric population. An interim analysis of sustained attentions measures from the Connors Performance Test (CPT-2) at baseline for the first 60 participants was conducted. Previously validated cut points to detect insufficient effort on the CPT-2 were applied. At baseline, 12% (7) were identified as giving poor effort. Follow-up analyses indicated less psychiatric distress and suicidality among those who gave poor effort. Results suggest comparable likelihood of a poor effort on cognitive testing in clinical and RCT participation. Reduced psychiatric distress in the poor effort group raises concern regarding interpretation of other measures. The importance of screening cognitive data for effort in RCTs is highlighted. Future studies will examine effort at follow-up visits, and explore relationships to attrition, adherence, and response to treatment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Shergis, Johannah L; Zhang, Anthony L; Zhou, Wenyu; Xue, Charlie C
Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer is a common herb with many purported health benefits. However, there is no conclusive evidence supporting its use in the treatment of any particular disease. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate randomised controlled trials. Four English databases were searched with no publication date restriction. Included studies evaluated P. ginseng in patients with any type of disease or in healthy individuals. We assessed the quality of studies using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Of the 475 potentially relevant studies, 65 met the inclusion criteria. These studies examined P. ginseng's effects on psychomotor performance (17 studies), physical performance (ten), circulatory system (eight), glucose metabolism (six), the respiratory system (five), erectile dysfunction (four), immunomodulation (four), quality of life/mood (four), antioxidant function (two), cancer (two), menopausal symptoms (two) and dry mouth (one). The risk of bias was unclear in most studies. Authors evaluated adverse events in 40 studies, with 135 minor events and no serious adverse events reported. P. ginseng shows promising results for improving glucose metabolism and moderating the immune response. This may have implications for several diseases including type 2 diabetes and chronic respiratory conditions. Further studies are needed to explore P. ginseng's potential as an effective treatment for these and other health conditions.
Miller, M G; McCarthy, N; O'Boyle, C A; Kearney, M
Seventy-four patients were included in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial comparing the analgesic efficacy and adverse effects of hydromorphone and morphine delivered by continuous subcutaneous infusion. Patients completed the Memorial Pain Assessment Card and a checklist of opioid-related adverse effects immediately before commencing subcutaneous infusion and 24, 48, and 72 hours later. An assessment tool was developed for the 60 patients who were too ill to complete their own questionnaire. The tool demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability. Thirty-four percent of patients in the hydromorphone group and 27% of those in the morphine group died before completion of the study (P = 0.66). The hydromorphone group required more analgesia for breakthrough pain in the first 24 hours of the study (P = 0.03) and had a greater improvement in the behavior of frowning on movement and the comfort visual analogue scale (P = 0.08) over the course of the study. Adverse effects were rare and similar in both groups. This study found hydromorphone to be at least as effective as morphine when delivered by continuous subcutaneous infusion.
Wagner, Edward H.; Ludman, Evette J.; Aiello Bowles, Erin J.; Penfold, Robert; Reid, Robert J.; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Chubak, Jessica; McCorkle, Ruth
Purpose To determine whether a nurse navigator intervention improves quality of life and patient experience with care for people recently given a diagnosis of breast, colorectal, or lung cancer. Patients and Methods Adults with recently diagnosed primary breast, colorectal, or lung cancer (n = 251) received either enhanced usual care (n = 118) or nurse navigator support for 4 months (n = 133) in a two-group cluster randomized, controlled trial with primary care physicians as the units of randomization. Patient-reported measures included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (FACT-G) Quality of Life scale, three subscales of the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC), and selected subscales from a cancer adaptation of the Picker Institute's patient experience survey. Self-report measures were collected at baseline, 4 months, and 12 months. Automated administrative data were used to assess time to treatment and total health care costs. Results There were no significant differences between groups in FACT-G scores. Nurse navigator patients reported significantly higher scores on the PACIC and reported significantly fewer problems with care, especially psychosocial care, care coordination, and information, as measured by the Picker instrument. Cumulative costs after diagnosis did not differ significantly between groups, but lung cancer costs were $6,852 less among nurse navigator patients. Conclusion Compared with enhanced usual care, nurse navigator support for patients with cancer early in their course improves patient experience and reduces problems in care, but did not differentially affect quality of life. PMID:24276777
Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, 2005
This is a checklist of key items to get right when conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate an educational program or practice ("intervention"). It is intended as a practical resource for researchers and sponsors of research, describing items that are often critical to the success of a randomized controlled trial. A significant…
Braun, Daniel A.; Aertsen, Ad; Paz, Rony; Vaadia, Eilon; Rotter, Stefan; Mehring, Carsten
When faced with unpredictable environments, the human motor system has been shown to develop optimized adaptation strategies that allow for online adaptation during the control process. Such online adaptation is to be contrasted to slower over-trial learning that corresponds to a trial-by-trial update of the movement plan. Here we investigate the interplay of both processes, i.e., online adaptation and over-trial learning, in a visuomotor experiment performed by macaques. We show that simple non-adaptive control schemes fail to perform in this task, but that a previously suggested adaptive optimal feedback control model can explain the observed behavior. We also show that over-trial learning as seen in learning and aftereffect curves can be explained by learning in a radial basis function network. Our results suggest that both the process of over-trial learning and the process of online adaptation are crucial to understand visuomotor learning. PMID:21720526
Wartolowska, Karolina; Collins, Gary S; Hopewell, Sally; Judge, Andrew; Dean, Benjamin J F; Rombach, Ines; Beard, David J; Carr, Andrew J
Objectives To find evidence, either corroborating or refuting, for many persisting beliefs regarding the feasibility of carrying out surgical randomised controlled trials with a placebo arm, with emphasis on the challenges related to recruitment, funding, anaesthesia or blinding. Design Systematic review. Data sources and study selection The analysis involved studies published between 1959 and 2014 that were identified during an earlier systematic review of benefits and harms of placebo-controlled surgical trials published in 2014. Results 63 trials were included in the review. The main problem reported in many trials was a very slow recruitment rate, mainly due to the difficulty in finding eligible patients. Existing placebo trials were funded equally often from commercial and non-commercial sources. General anaesthesia or sedation was used in 41% of studies. Among the reviewed trials, 81% were double-blinded, and 19% were single-blinded. Across the reviewed trials, 96% (range 50–100%) of randomised patients completed the study. The withdrawal rate during the study was similar in the surgical and in the placebo groups. Conclusions This review demonstrated that placebo-controlled surgical trials are feasible, at least for procedures with a lower level of invasiveness, but also that recruitment is difficult. Many of the presumed challenges to undertaking such trials, for example, funding, anaesthesia or blinding of patients and assessors, were not reported as obstacles to completion in any of the reviewed trials. PMID:27008687
Hawe, Penelope; Riley, Therese; Gartrell, Alexandra; Turner, Karen; Canales, Claudia; Omstead, Darlene
We conducted qualitative interviews among primary health care teams and community agencies in eight communities in Victoria, Australia which had (1) agreed to be part of a universal primary care and community development intervention to reduce post natal depression and promote maternal health; and (2) were randomised to the comparison arm. The purpose was to document their experience with and interpretation of the trial. Although 'control' in a controlled trial refers to the control of confounding of the trial result by factors other than allocation to the intervention, participants interpreted 'control' to mean restrictions on what they were allowed to do during the trial period. They had agreed not to use the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale or the SF 36 in clinical practice and not to implement any of the elements of the intervention. We found that no elements of the intervention were implemented. However, the extension of the trial from three to five years made the trial agreement a strain. The imposition of trial conditions also encouraged a degree of lateral thinking and innovation in service delivery (quality improvement). This may have potentially contributed to the null trial results. The observations invite interrogation of intervention theory and consequent rethinking of the way contamination in a cluster trial is defined.
Gomes, Evelim L. F. D.; Carvalho, Celso R. F.; Peixoto-Souza, Fabiana Sobral; Teixeira-Carvalho, Etiene Farah; Mendonça, Juliana Fernandes Barreto; Stirbulov, Roberto; Sampaio, Luciana Maria Malosá; Costa, Dirceu
Objective The aim of the present study was to determine whether aerobic exercise involving an active video game system improved asthma control, airway inflammation and exercise capacity in children with moderate to severe asthma. Design A randomized, controlled, single-blinded clinical trial was carried out. Thirty-six children with moderate to severe asthma were randomly allocated to either a video game group (VGG; N = 20) or a treadmill group (TG; n = 16). Both groups completed an eight-week supervised program with two weekly 40-minute sessions. Pre-training and post-training evaluations involved the Asthma Control Questionnaire, exhaled nitric oxide levels (FeNO), maximum exercise testing (Bruce protocol) and lung function. Results No differences between the VGG and TG were found at the baseline. Improvements occurred in both groups with regard to asthma control and exercise capacity. Moreover, a significant reduction in FeNO was found in the VGG (p < 0.05). Although the mean energy expenditure at rest and during exercise training was similar for both groups, the maximum energy expenditure was higher in the VGG. Conclusion The present findings strongly suggest that aerobic training promoted by an active video game had a positive impact on children with asthma in terms of clinical control, improvementin their exercise capacity and a reductionin pulmonary inflammation. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01438294 PMID:26301706
Schucht, Philippe; Banz, Vanessa; Trochsler, Markus; Iff, Samuel; Krähenbühl, Anna Katharina; Reinert, Michael; Beck, Jürgen; Raabe, Andreas; Candinas, Daniel; Kuhlen, Dominique; Mariani, Luigi
OBJECT In ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery, laparoscopic assistance can be used for placement of the peritoneal catheter. Until now, the efficacy of laparoscopic shunt placement has been investigated only in retrospective and nonrandomized prospective studies, which have reported decreased distal shunt dysfunction rates in patients undergoing laparascopic placement compared with mini-laparotomy cohorts. In this randomized controlled trial the authors compared rates of shunt failure in patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery for peritoneal catheter placement with rates in patients who underwent traditional mini-laparotomy. METHODS One hundred twenty patients scheduled for VP shunt surgery were randomized to laparoscopic surgery or mini-laparotomy for insertion of the peritoneal catheter. The primary endpoint was the rate of overall shunt complication or failure within the first 12 months after surgery. Secondary endpoints were distal shunt failure, overall complication/ failure, duration of surgery and hospitalization, and morbidity. RESULTS The overall shunt complication/failure rate was 15% (9 of 60 cases) in the laparoscopic group and 18.3% (11 of 60 cases) in the mini-laparotomy group (p = 0.404). Patients in the laparoscopic group had no distal shunt failures; in contrast, 5 (8%) of 60 patients in the mini-laparotomy group experienced distal shunt failure (p = 0.029). Intraoperative complications occurred in 2 patients (both in the laparoscopic group), and abdominal pain led to catheter removal in 1 patient per group. Infections occurred in 1 patient in the laparoscopic group and 3 in the mini-laparotomy group. The mean durations of surgery and hospitalization were similar in the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS While overall shunt failure rates were similar in the 2 groups, the use of laparoscopic shunt placement significantly reduced the rate of distal shunt failure compared with mini-laparotomy.
North, Richard B; Kidd, David H; Olin, John; Sieracki, Jeffrey M; Boulay, Marc
Objectives. The development of multicontact electrodes and programmable, implanted pulse generators has increased the therapeutic success of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) by enhancing the ability to capture and maintain pain/paresthesia overlap. This study sought to determine if interleaved stimulation and/or frequency doubling improves pain/paresthesia overlap in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Methods. Using a patient-interactive computer system that quantifies SCS performance and presents stimulation settings in randomized, double-blind fashion, we compared the effect on pain/paresthesia overlap of interleaved stimulation (rapidly interleaved pulse trains using two different contact combinations) vs. standard treatment with a single contact combination, controlling for frequency doubling. Stimulation amplitude (charge per phase, as determined by varying pulse voltage or width) was adjusted to a subjectively comfortable intensity (usage amplitude), which was maintained for all trials in each patient. The number of percutaneous spinal electrodes used (one or two) and the phase angle between interleaved pulses were additional study variables. Results. Multivariate analysis of 266 test results from 15 patients revealed a statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) association between increased computer-calculated pain/paresthesia overlap and 1) high- and low-frequency interleaved stimulation using two combinations of contacts and 2) frequency doubling using one combination. We found no significant effect for electrode configuration (single or dual), pulse width matching, or phase angle. Conclusions. The statistically significant advantages we observed for SCS with interleaved stimulation are explained, at least in part, by the effects of frequency doubling. These findings have important implications for the design and adjustment of pulse generators. PMID:22150894
Wollmer, M Axel; de Boer, Claas; Kalak, Nadeem; Beck, Johannes; Götz, Thomas; Schmidt, Tina; Hodzic, Muris; Bayer, Ursula; Kollmann, Thilo; Kollewe, Katja; Sönmez, Daniela; Duntsch, Katja; Haug, Martin D; Schedlowski, Manfred; Hatzinger, Martin; Dressler, Dirk; Brand, Serge; Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith; Kruger, Tillmann H C
Positive effects on mood have been observed in subjects who underwent treatment of glabellar frown lines with botulinum toxin and, in an open case series, depression remitted or improved after such treatment. Using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial design we assessed botulinum toxin injection to the glabellar region as an adjunctive treatment of major depression. Thirty patients were randomly assigned to a verum (onabotulinumtoxinA, n = 15) or placebo (saline, n = 15) group. The primary end point was change in the 17-item version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale six weeks after treatment compared to baseline. The verum and the placebo groups did not differ significantly in any of the collected baseline characteristics. Throughout the sixteen-week follow-up period there was a significant improvement in depressive symptoms in the verum group compared to the placebo group as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (F((6,168)) = 5.76, p < 0.001, η(2) = 0.17). Six weeks after a single treatment scores of onabotulinumtoxinA recipients were reduced on average by 47.1% and by 9.2% in placebo-treated participants (F((1,28)) = 12.30, p = 0.002, η(2) = 0.31, d = 1.28). The effect size was even larger at the end of the study (d = 1.80). Treatment-dependent clinical improvement was also reflected in the Beck Depression Inventory, and in the Clinical Global Impressions Scale. This study shows that a single treatment of the glabellar region with botulinum toxin may shortly accomplish a strong and sustained alleviation of depression in patients, who did not improve sufficiently on previous medication. It supports the concept, that the facial musculature not only expresses, but also regulates mood states. PMID:22364892
Robinson, Thomas N.; Dunn, Christina L.; Adams, Jill C.; Hawkins, Carrie L.; Tran, Zung V.; Raeburn, Christopher D.; Moss, Marc
Background/Objectives Tryptophan deficiency has been associated with increased incidence of postoperative delirium. Therefore, we hypothesized that the post-operative administration of tryptophan would be beneficial for elderly surgical patients who are at higher risk of developing post-operative delirium. Design Randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Setting: Participants A total of 325 individuals aged 60 years and older undergoing major elective operations requiring a postoperative intensive care unit admission. Intervention L-tryptophan, 1 gram orally, three times daily or placebo was started following the operation and continued for up to three days postoperatively. Measurements Delirium and its motor subtypes were measured using the Confusion Assessment Method-ICU and the Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale. The primary outcome for between groups comparison was the incidence of excitatory (mixed and hyperactive) postoperative delirium. The secondary outcomes for comparison were the incidence and duration of overall postoperative delirium. Results The overall incidence of postoperative delirium was 39% (116) (95% confidence interval 34% to 44%). The percentages of patients with excitatory delirium in the tryptophan and placebo groups were 17% and 9% (p=0.176), and the duration of excitatory delirium was 3.3±1.7 and 3.1±1.9 days (p=0.741). The percentage of patients with overall delirium in the tryptophan and placebo groups was 40% and 37% (p=0.597), and the duration of overall delirium was 2.9±1.8 and 2.4±1.6 days (p=0.167). Conclusion Postoperative tryptophan supplementation in older adults undergoing major elective operations requiring postoperative intensive care unit admission demonstrated no efficacy in reducing the incidence of postoperative excitatory delirium or overall delirium, and the duration of excitatory or overall delirium. PMID:25112175
Hall, Laura J.; McElfresh, Karen R.; Warner, Teddy D.; Stromberg, Tiffany L.; Trost, Jaren; Jelinek, Devin A.
Mahomed, K.; Nyoni, R.; Mulambo, T.; Kasule, J.; Jacobus, E.
OBJECTIVE--To compare effectiveness of different methods of monitoring intrapartum fetal heart rate. DESIGN--Prospective randomised controlled trial. SETTING--Referral maternity hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. SUBJECTS--1255 women who were 37 weeks or more pregnant with singleton cephalic presentation and normal fetal heart rate before entry into study. INTERVENTIONS--Intermittent monitoring of fetal heart rate by electronic monitoring, Doppler ultrasound, use of Pinard stethoscope by a research midwife, or routine use of Pinard stethoscope by attending midwife. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Abnormal fetal heart rate patterns, need for operative delivery for fetal distress, neonatal mortality, Apgar scores, admission to neonatal unit, neonatal seizures, and hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. RESULTS--Abnormalities in fetal heart rate were detected in 54% (172/318) of the electronic monitoring group, 32% (100/312) of the ultrasonography group, 15% (47/310) of the Pinard stethoscope group, and 9% (28/315) of the routine monitoring group. Caesarean sections were performed for 28% (89%), 24% (76), 10% (32), and 15% (46) of the four groups respectively. Neonatal outcome was best in the ultrasonography group: hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy occurred in two, one, seven, and 10 cases in the four groups respectively; neonatal seizures occurred only in the last two groups (six and nine cases respectively); and deaths occurred in eight, two, five, and nine cases respectively. CONCLUSIONS--Abnormalities in fetal heart rate were more reliably detected by Doppler ultrasonography than with Pinard stethoscope, and its use resulted in good perinatal outcome. The use of relatively cheap ultrasound monitors should be further evaluated and promoted in obstetric units caring for high risk pregnancies in developing countries with scarce resources. PMID:8136665
Background Organic nitrates uncouple bone turnover, improve bone mineral density, and improve trabecular and cortical components of bone. These changes in turnover, strength and geometry may translate into an important reduction in fractures. However, before proceeding with a large fracture trial, there is a need to identify the nitrate formulation that has both the greatest efficacy (with regards to bone turnover markers) and gives the fewest headaches. Ascertaining which nitrate formulation this may be is the purpose of the current study. Methods and design This will be an open-label randomized, controlled trial conducted at Women’s College Hospital comparing five formulations of nitrates for their effects on bone turnover markers and headache. We will recruit postmenopausal women age 50 years or older with no contraindications to nitroglycerin. Our trial will consist of a run-in phase and a treatment phase. We will enroll 420 women in the run-in phase, each to receive all of the 5 potential treatments in random order for 2 days, each with a 2-day washout period between treatments. Those who tolerate all formulations will enter the 12-week treatment phase and be randomly assigned to one of five groups: 0.3 mg sublingual nitroglycerin tablet, 0.6 mg of the sublingual tablet, a 20 mg tablet of isosorbide mononitrate, a 160 mg nitroglycerin transdermal patch (used for 8 h), and 15 mg of nitroglycerin ointment as used in a previous trial by our group. We will continue enrolment until we have randomized 210 women or 35 women per group. Concentrations of bone formation (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide) and bone resorption (C-telopeptides of collagen crosslinks and N-terminal crosslinks of collagen) agents will be measured in samples taken at study entry (the start of the run in phase) and 12 weeks. Subjects will record the frequency and severity of headaches daily during the run-in phase and then monthly after that. We
Background The results of many clinical trials and experimental studies regarding acupoint specificity are contradictory. This review aims to investigate whether a difference in efficacy exists between ordinary acupuncture on specific acupoints and sham acupuncture controls on non-acupoints or on irrelevant acupoints. Methods Databases including Medline, Embase, AMED and Chinese Biomedical Database were searched to identify randomized controlled trials published between 1998 and 2009 that compared traditional body acupuncture on acupoints with sham acupuncture controls on irrelevant acupoints or non-acupoints with the same needling depth. The Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was employed to address the quality of the included trials. Results Twelve acupuncture clinical trials with sham acupuncture controls were identified and included in the review. The conditions treated varied. Half of the included trials had positive results on the primary outcomes and demonstrated acupoint specificity. However, among those six trials (total sample size: 985) with low risk of bias, five trials (sample size: 940) showed no statistically significant difference between proper and sham acupuncture treatments. Conclusion This review did not demonstrate the existence of acupoint specificity. Further clinical trials with larger sample sizes, optimal acupuncture treatment protocols and appropriate sham acupuncture controls are required to resolve this important issue. PMID:20145733
Background Inadequate and inappropriate complementary feeding are major factors contributing to excess morbidity and mortality in young children in low resource settings. Animal source foods in particular are cited as essential to achieve micronutrient requirements. The efficacy of the recommendation for regular meat consumption, however, has not been systematically evaluated. Methods/Design A cluster randomized efficacy trial was designed to test the hypothesis that 12 months of daily intake of beef added as a complementary food would result in greater linear growth velocity than a micronutrient fortified equi-caloric rice-soy cereal supplement. The study is being conducted in 4 sites of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research located in Guatemala, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia in communities with toddler stunting rates of at least 20%. Five clusters per country were randomized to each of the food arms, with 30 infants in each cluster. The daily meat or cereal supplement was delivered to the home by community coordinators, starting when the infants were 6 months of age and continuing through 18 months. All participating mothers received nutrition education messages to enhance complementary feeding practices delivered by study coordinators and through posters at the local health center. Outcome measures, obtained at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months by a separate assessment team, included anthropometry; dietary variety and diversity scores; biomarkers of iron, zinc and Vitamin B12 status (18 months); neurocognitive development (12 and 18 months); and incidence of infectious morbidity throughout the trial. The trial was supervised by a trial steering committee, and an independent data monitoring committee provided oversight for the safety and conduct of the trial. Discussion Findings from this trial will test the efficacy of daily intake of meat commencing at age 6 months and, if beneficial, will provide a strong rationale
Yeung, Wing-Fai; Chung, Ka-Fai; Zhang, Shi-Ping; Yap, Tuan-Gee; Law, Andrew C.K.
for insomnia. Citation: Yeung WF; Chung KF; Zhang SP; Yap TG; Law ACK. Electroacupuncture for primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial. SLEEP 2009;32(8):1039-1047. PMID:19725255
Newman, Connie B
Background Statin intolerance is a barrier to effective lipid-lowering treatment. A significant number of patients stop prescribed statins, or can take only a reduced dose, because of adverse events attributed to the statin, and are then considered statin-intolerant. Methods Examination of differences between statin and placebo in withdrawal rates due to adverse events – a good measure of tolerability – in statin cardiovascular outcome trials in patients with advanced disease and complex medical histories, who may be more vulnerable to adverse effects. The arguments commonly used to dismiss safety and tolerability data in statin clinical trials are examined. Results Rates of withdrawal due to adverse events in trials in patients with advanced disease and complex medical histories are consistently similar in the statin and placebo groups. We find no support for arguments that statin cardiovascular outcome trials do not translate to clinical practice. Conclusions Given the absence of any signal of intolerance in clinical trials, it appears that statin intolerance in the clinic is commonly due to the nocebo effect causing patients to attribute background symptoms to the statin. Consistent with this, over 90% of patients who have stopped treatment because of an adverse event can tolerate a statin if re-challenged. Consequently, new agents, including monoclonal antibodies to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9, will be useful when added to statin therapy but should rarely be used as a statin substitute. PMID:26318980
Background Hypertension can be prevented by adopting healthy dietary patterns. Our aim was to assess the 4-year effect on blood pressure (BP) control of a randomized feeding trial promoting the traditional Mediterranean dietary pattern. Methods The PREDIMED primary prevention trial is a randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial conducted in Spanish primary healthcare centers. We recruited 7,447 men (aged 55 to 80 years) and women (aged 60 to 80 years) who had high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants were assigned to a control group or to one of two Mediterranean diets. The control group received education on following a low-fat diet, while the groups on Mediterranean diets received nutritional education and also free foods; either extra virgin olive oil, or nuts. Trained personnel measured participants’ BP at baseline and once yearly during a 4-year follow-up. We used generalized estimating equations to assess the differences between groups during the follow-up. Results The percentage of participants with controlled BP increased in all three intervention groups (P-value for within-group changes: P<0.001). Participants allocated to either of the two Mediterranean diet groups had significantly lower diastolic BP than the participants in the control group (−1.53 mmHg (95% confidence interval (CI) −2.01 to −1.04) for the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, and −0.65 mmHg (95% CI -1.15 to −0.15) mmHg for the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts). No between-group differences in changes of systolic BP were seen. Conclusions Both the traditional Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet exerted beneficial effects on BP and could be part of advice to patients for controlling BP. However, we found lower values of diastolic BP in the two groups promoting the Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil or with nuts than in the control group. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN35739639 PMID:24050803
Background The participant information sheet (PIS) provided to potential trial participants is a critical part of the process of valid consent. However, there is long-standing concern that these lengthy and complex documents are not fit-for-purpose. This has been supported recently through the application of a performance-based approach to testing and improving readability called user testing. This method is now widely used to improve patient medicine leaflets - determining whether people can find and understand key facts. This study applied for the first time a controlled design to determine whether a PIS developed through user testing had improved readability over the original, using a sheet from a UK trial in acute myeloid leukemia (AML16). Methods In the first phase the performance of the original PIS was tested on people in the target group for the trial. There were three rounds of testing including 50 people in total - with the information revised according to its performance after each of the first 2 rounds. In the second phase, the revised PIS was compared with the original in a parallel groups randomised controlled trial (RCT) A total of 123 participants were recruited and randomly allocated to read one version of the PIS to find and show understanding of 21 key facts. Results The first, developmental phase produced a revised PIS significantly altered in its wording and layout. In the second, trial phase 66% of participants who read the revised PIS were able to show understanding of all aspects of the trial, compared with 15% of those reading the original version (Odds Ratio 11.2; Chi-square = 31.5 p < .001). When asked to state a preference, 87.1% participants chose the revised PIS (Sign test p < .001). Conclusions The original PIS for the AML16 trial may not have enabled valid consent. Combining performance-based user testing with expertise in writing for patients and information design led to a significantly improved and preferred information sheet
Coronado-Montoya, Stephanie; Levis, Alexander W.; Kwakkenbos, Linda; Steele, Russell J.; Turner, Erick H.; Thombs, Brett D.
Background A large proportion of mindfulness-based therapy trials report statistically significant results, even in the context of very low statistical power. The objective of the present study was to characterize the reporting of “positive” results in randomized controlled trials of mindfulness-based therapy. We also assessed mindfulness-based therapy trial registrations for indications of possible reporting bias and reviewed recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses to determine whether reporting biases were identified. Methods CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL, EMBASE, ISI, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and SCOPUS databases were searched for randomized controlled trials of mindfulness-based therapy. The number of positive trials was described and compared to the number that might be expected if mindfulness-based therapy were similarly effective compared to individual therapy for depression. Trial registries were searched for mindfulness-based therapy registrations. CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL, EMBASE, ISI, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and SCOPUS were also searched for mindfulness-based therapy systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Results 108 (87%) of 124 published trials reported ≥1 positive outcome in the abstract, and 109 (88%) concluded that mindfulness-based therapy was effective, 1.6 times greater than the expected number of positive trials based on effect size d = 0.55 (expected number positive trials = 65.7). Of 21 trial registrations, 13 (62%) remained unpublished 30 months post-trial completion. No trial registrations adequately specified a single primary outcome measure with time of assessment. None of 36 systematic reviews and meta-analyses concluded that effect estimates were overestimated due to reporting biases. Conclusions The proportion of mindfulness-based therapy trials with statistically significant results may overstate what would occur in practice. PMID:27058355
Xu, Renfan; Zhang, Shasha; Tao, Anyu; Chen, Guangzhi; Zhang, Muxun
Observational studies have revealed that higher serum vitamin E concentrations and increased vitamin E intake and vitamin E supplementation are associated with beneficial effects on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, whether vitamin E supplementation exerts a definitive effect on glycaemic control remains unclear. This article involves a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of vitamin E to better characterise its impact on HbA1c, fasting glucose and fasting insulin. PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library were electronically searched from the earliest possible date through April 2013 for all relevant studies. Weighted mean difference (WMD) was calculated for net changes using fixed-effects or random-effects models. Standard methods for assessing statistical heterogeneity and publication bias were used. Fourteen randomised controlled trials involving individual data on 714 subjects were collected in this meta-analysis. Increased vitamin E supplementation did not result in significant benefits in glycaemic control as measured by reductions in HbA1c, fasting glucose and fasting insulin. Subgroup analyses revealed a significant reduction in HbA1c (−0.58%, 95% CI −0.83 to −0.34) and fasting insulin (−9.0 pmol/l, 95% CI −15.90 to −2.10) compared with controls in patients with low baseline vitamin E status. Subgroup analyses also demonstrated that the outcomes may have been influenced by the vitamin E dosage, study duration, ethnic group, serum HbA1c concentration, and fasting glucose control status. In conclusion, there is currently insufficient evidence to support a potential beneficial effect of vitamin E supplementation on improvements of HbA1c and fasting glucose and insulin concentrations in subjects with T2DM. PMID:24740143
Ratliff-Schaub, Karen; Carey, Tracy; Reeves, Gretchen; Rogers, Mary
Previous trials of secretin for the treatment of autism have utilized a single or double dose administered intravenously. This is a report of a double-blind, randomized, controlled crossover trial of transdermally applied secretin in 15 children diagnosed with autism or pervasive developmental delay. Secretin or placebo was applied daily, in…
Arnold, L. Eugene; Lofthouse, Nicholas; Hersch, Sarah; Pan, Xueliang; Hurt, Elizabeth; Bates, Bethany; Kassouf, Kathleen; Moone, Stacey; Grantier, Cara
Objective: Preparing for a definitive randomized clinical trial (RCT) of neurofeedback (NF) for ADHD, this pilot trial explored feasibility of a double-blind, sham-controlled design and adherence/palatability/relative effect of two versus three treatments/week. Method: Unmedicated 6- to 12-year-olds with "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of…
Ainsworth, Hannah; Hewitt, Catherine E.; Higgins, Steve; Wiggins, Andy; Torgerson, David J.; Torgerson, Carole J.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can be at risk of bias. Using data from a RCT, we considered the impact of post-randomisation bias. We compared the trial primary outcome, which was administered blindly, with the secondary outcome, which was not administered blindly. From 44 schools, 522 children were randomised to receive a one-to-one maths…
Safarkhani, Maryam; Moerbeek, Mirjam
In a randomized controlled trial, a decision needs to be made about the total number of subjects for adequate statistical power. One way to increase the power of a trial is by including a predictive covariate in the model. In this article, the effects of various covariate adjustment strategies on increasing the power is studied for discrete-time…
Mazur, James E.
Parallel experiments with rats and pigeons examined whether the size of a pre-trial ratio requirement would affect choices in a self-control situation. In different conditions, either 1 response or 40 responses were required before each trial. In the first half of each experiment, an adjusting-ratio schedule was used, in which subjects could…
Brooks, G.; Miles, J. N. V.; Torgerson, C. J.; Torgerson, D. J.
Background: Computer software is widely used to support literacy learning. There are few randomised trials to support its effectiveness. Therefore, there is an urgent need to rigorously evaluate computer software that supports literacy learning. Methods: We undertook a pragmatic randomised controlled trial among pupils aged 11-12 within a single…
Creed, F; Black, D; Anthony, P; Osborn, M; Thomas, P; Tomenson, B
OBJECTIVE--To assess the proportion of acutely ill psychiatric patients who can be treated in a day hospital and compare the outcome of day patient and inpatient treatment. DESIGN--Prospective randomised controlled trial of day patient versus inpatient treatment after exclusion of patients precluded by severity of illness or other factors from being treated as day patients. All three groups assessed at three and 12 months. SETTING--Teaching hospital serving small socially deprived inner city area. Day hospital designed to take acute admissions because of few beds. PATIENTS--175 Patients were considered, of whom 73 could not be allocated. Of the remaining 102 patients, 51 were allocated to each treatment setting but only 89 became established in treatment--namely, 41 day patients and 48 inpatients. 73 Of these 89 patients were reassessed at three months and 70 at one year. INTERVENTIONS--Standard day patient and inpatient treatment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Discharge from hospital and return to previous level of social functioning; reduction of psychiatric symptoms, abnormal behaviour, and burden on relatives. RESULTS--33 Of 48 inpatients were discharged at three months compared with 17 of 41 day patients. But at one year 9 of 48 inpatients and three of 41 day patients were in hospital. 18 Of 35 day patients and 16 of 39 inpatients were at their previous level of social functioning at one year. The only significant difference at three months was a greater improvement in social role performance in the inpatients. At one year there was no significant difference between day patients and inpatients in present state examination summary scores and social role performance, burden, or behaviour. CONCLUSIONS--Roughly 40% of all acutely ill patients presenting for admission to a psychiatric unit may be treated satisfactorily in a well staffed day hospital. The outcome of treatment is similar to that of inpatient care but might possibly reduce readmissions. The hospital costs
Tan, Jing-Yu; Suen, Lorna K. P.; Wang, Tao; Molassiotis, Alexander
Objectives To explore the commonly utilized sham acupressure procedures in existing acupressure trials, and to assess whether different types of sham interventions yield different therapeutic outcomes, and, as far as possible, to identify directions for the future development of an adequate sham acupressure method. Methods Randomized controlled trials comparing true acupressure with sham interventions were included. Thirteen electronic databases were adopted to locate relevant studies from inception to July 3, 2014. Meanwhile, eight Chinese journals on complementary and alternative medicine were manually searched to locate eligible articles. In addition, eligible studies listed in the reference lists of the included papers and other related systematic reviews on acupressure were also screened to further search any potentially eligible trials. Methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the risk of bias assessment tool developed by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Descriptive analysis was adopted to summarize the therapeutic outcomes. Results Sixty-six studies with 7265 participants were included. Methodological quality of the included trials was generally satisfactory. Six types of sham acupressure approaches were identified and “non-acupoint” stimulation was the most frequently utilized sham point while an acupressure device was the most commonly used approach for administering sham treatments. Acupressure therapy was a beneficial approach in managing a variety of health problems and the therapeutic effect was found to be more effective in the true acupressure groups than that in the sham comparative groups. No clear association could be identified between different sham acupressure modalities and the reported treatment outcomes. Conclusions A great diversity of sham acupressure controls have been used in clinical practice and research. A solid conclusion whether different sham alternatives are related to different treatment outcomes
Desai, Jigar R; Bowen, Edward A; Danielson, Mark M; Allam, Rajasekhar R; Cantor, Michael N
Background Ethical concerns about randomly assigning patients to suboptimal or placebo arms and the paucity of willing participants for randomization into control and experimental groups have renewed focus on the use of historical controls in clinical trials. Although databases of historical controls have been advocated, no published reports have described the technical and informatics issues involved in their creation. Objective To create a historical controls database by leveraging internal clinical trial data at Pfizer, focusing on patients who received only placebo in randomized controlled trials. Methods We transformed disparate clinical data sources by indexing, developing, and integrating clinical data within internal databases and archives. We focused primarily on trials mapped into a consistent standard and trials in the pain therapeutic area as a pilot. Results Of the more than 20 000 internal Pfizer clinical trials, 2404 completed placebo controlled studies with a parallel design were identified. Due to challenges with informed consent and data standards used in older clinical trials, studies completed before 2000 were excluded, yielding 1134 studies from which placebo subjects and associated clinical data were extracted. Conclusions It is technically feasible to pool portions of placebo populations through a stratification and segmentation approach for a historical placebo group database. A sufficiently large placebo controls database would enable previous distribution calculations on representative populations to supplement, not eliminate, the placebo arm of future clinical trials. Creation of an industry-wide placebo controls database, utilizing a universal standard, beyond the borders of Pfizer would add significant efficiencies to the clinical trial and drug development process. PMID:23449762
Hatcher, Simon; Sharon, Cynthia; Coggan, Carol
There is a lack of evidence about what is the best treatment for people who present to hospital after self harm. Most treatment trials have been small and involved unrepresentative groups of patients which result in inconclusive findings. Here we note some of the characteristics of attempted suicide which make it a difficult subject to study. We…
Kwan, Irene; Mapstone, James
This study aims to quantify the effect of visibility aids on the occurrence of pedestrian and cyclist-motor vehicle collisions and injuries, and drivers' responses in detection and recognition. Trial reports were systematically reviewed according to predefined eligibility criteria, including randomised controlled trials or controlled before-and-after trials comparing visibility aids and no visibility aids, and of different visibility aids on pedestrian and cyclist safety, and drivers' responses in detection and recognition. This included trials in which the order of interventions was randomised, or balanced using a Latin square design. Two reviewers independently assessed validity of trials and abstracted data. The main outcome measures were pedestrian and cyclist-motor vehicle collisions and injuries, and drivers'/observers' responses in the detection and recognition time, distance and frequency. No trials which assessed the effect of visibility aids on pedestrian and cyclist-motor vehicle collisions and injuries were identified. Twelve trials examined the effectiveness of daytime visibility aids and 25 trials on night time visibility aids, including 882 participants. Drivers' and observers' detection and recognition improved with visibility aids. For daytime, fluorescent materials in yellow, red and orange colours enhanced detection and recognition. "Biomotion" markings enhanced recognition. Substantial heterogeneity between the trials limits the possibility for meta-analysis. Visibility aids have the potential to improve detection and recognition and would merit further development to gain public acceptance. However, the impact of visibility aids on pedestrian and cyclist safety is unknown and needs to be determined. PMID:15003574
Police, Rachel L; Trask, Peter C; Wang, Jianmin; Olivares, Robert; Khan, Shahnaz; Abbe, Adeline; Colosia, Ann; Njue, Annete; Sherril, Beth; Ruiz-Soto, Rodrigo; Kaye, James A; Hamadani, Mehdi
This systematic literature review evaluated the clinical efficacy and safety of interventions used in relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma. Primary efficacy outcomes were objective response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival. Safety endpoints were grade 3/4 toxicities, serious adverse events and withdrawals or deaths due to toxicity. Studies were selected if they were randomized controlled trials reporting on the efficacy or safety of treatments for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma, and if outcomes were reported separately from trials that included other lymphoid neoplasms. We used the Bucher method for conducting adjusted indirect comparisons within a meta-analysis. We identified 10 randomized controlled trials of treatments for relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma. The most prominent drug investigated (alone or in combination) was rituximab. Most trials did not report median overall survival. Two trials reported median event-free survival (range, 1.2-23.2 months). Six of ten trials reported objective response rate (range, 9-93%). Meta-analysis showed only one statistically significant result: rituximab + bortezomib yielded a significantly higher objective response rate than rituximab monotherapy (relative risk, 1.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.47). Otherwise, there were no discernable differences in overall survival or progression-free survival, partly due to insufficient reporting of results in the clinical trials. The relatively small number of randomized controlled trials, few overlapping treatment arms, and variability in the randomized controlled trial features and in the endpoints studied complicate the formal comparison of therapies for relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma. Additional well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to fully understand the relative outcomes of older and more recently developed therapies. PMID:26320127
Background Oral cancer is a major health problem worldwide. The 5-year survival rate ranges from 30-60%, and has remained unchanged in the past few decades. This is mainly due to late diagnosis and high recurrence of the disease. Of the patients who receive treatment, up to one third suffer from a recurrence or a second primary tumor. It is apparent that one major cause of disease recurrence is clinically unrecognized field changes which extend beyond the visible tumor boundary. We have previously developed an approach using fluorescence visualization (FV) technology to improve the recognition of the field at risk surrounding a visible oral cancer that needs to be removed and preliminary results have shown a significant reduction in recurrence rates. Method/Design This paper describes the study design of a randomized, multi-centre, double blind, controlled surgical trial, the COOLS trial. Nine institutions across Canada will recruit a total of 400 patients with oral severe dysplasia or carcinoma in situ (N = 160) and invasive squamous cell carcinoma (N = 240). Patients will be stratified by participating institution and histology grade and randomized equally into FV-guided surgery (experimental arm) or white light-guided surgery (control arm). The primary endpoint is a composite of recurrence at or 1 cm within the previous surgery site with 1) the same or higher grade histology compared to the initial diagnosis (i.e., the diagnosis used for randomization); or 2) further treatment due to the presence of severe dysplasia or higher degree of change at follow-up. This is the first randomized, multi-centre trial to validate the effectiveness of the FV-guided surgery. Discussion In this paper we described the strategies, novelty, and challenges of this unique trial involving a surgical approach guided by the FV technology. The success of the trial requires training, coordination, and quality assurance across multiple sites within Canada. The COOLS trial, an example of
Background The risks of not breastfeeding for mother and infant are well established, yet in Australia, although most women initiate breastfeeding many discontinue breastfeeding altogether and few women exclusively breastfeed to six months as recommended by the World Health Organization and Australian health authorities. We aim to determine whether proactive telephone peer support during the postnatal period increases the proportion of infants who are breastfed at six months, replicating a trial previously found to be effective in Canada. Design/Methods A two arm randomised controlled trial will be conducted, recruiting primiparous women who have recently given birth to a live baby, are proficient in English and are breastfeeding or intending to breastfeed. Women will be recruited in the postnatal wards of three hospitals in Melbourne, Australia and will be randomised to peer support or to ‘usual’ care. All women recruited to the trial will receive usual hospital postnatal care and infant feeding support. For the intervention group, peers will make two telephone calls within the first ten days postpartum, then weekly telephone calls until week twelve, with continued contact until six months postpartum. Primary aim: to determine whether postnatal telephone peer support increases the proportion of infants who are breastfed for at least six months. Hypothesis: that telephone peer support in the postnatal period will increase the proportion of infants receiving any breast milk at six months by 10% compared with usual care (from 46% to 56%). Outcome data will be analysed by intention to treat. A supplementary multivariate analysis will be undertaken if there are any baseline differences in the characteristics of women in the two groups which might be associated with the primary outcomes. Discussion The costs and health burdens of not breastfeeding fall disproportionately and increasingly on disadvantaged groups. We have therefore deliberately chosen trial sites
Malik, A Y; Ghafoor, F
Inequities in socio-economic and healthcare systems between developed and developing countries have been thrown into sharp relief by globalisation. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies have started conducting clinical trials in developing countries in order to reduce their costs substantially. Together, these two developments create ethical challenges for sponsors and researchers of these trials. One such challenge is that of placebo-controlled trials (PCTs). In this paper we analyse Paragraph 32 of the Declaration of Helsinki referring to PCTs, identifying ambiguities in the wording, and then examine three arguments presented by sponsors of PCTs in developing countries, in defence of such trials. These arguments are: (i) a placebo control provides a definitive answer, and is therefore methodologically superior; (ii) placebo-controlled trials are ethical because they serve the principle of utility, and (iii) interpreting the "best current proven intervention" as the local standard of care allows PCTs to be conducted, if the local standard of care is "no treatment". We argue that PCTs are not methodologically superior; nor are they ethically defensible. Other trial designs conforming to the ethics of research are feasible; the reason for conducting PCTs is expediency. We further propose that, given the global applicability of the Declaration of Helsinki, it is imperative to remove the ambiguities in Paragraph 32. In the context of collaborative trials, when a treatment exists, conducting PCTs is ethically unacceptable, irrespective of the geographic location of the trial. Universal standards ought to be applied universally. PMID:22319846
Malik, A Y; Ghafoor, F
Inequities in socio-economic and healthcare systems between developed and developing countries have been thrown into sharp relief by globalisation. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies have started conducting clinical trials in developing countries in order to reduce their costs substantially. Together, these two developments create ethical challenges for sponsors and researchers of these trials. One such challenge is that of placebo-controlled trials (PCTs). In this paper we analyse Paragraph 32 of the Declaration of Helsinki referring to PCTs, identifying ambiguities in the wording, and then examine three arguments presented by sponsors of PCTs in developing countries, in defence of such trials. These arguments are: (i) a placebo control provides a definitive answer, and is therefore methodologically superior; (ii) placebo-controlled trials are ethical because they serve the principle of utility, and (iii) interpreting the "best current proven intervention" as the local standard of care allows PCTs to be conducted, if the local standard of care is "no treatment". We argue that PCTs are not methodologically superior; nor are they ethically defensible. Other trial designs conforming to the ethics of research are feasible; the reason for conducting PCTs is expediency. We further propose that, given the global applicability of the Declaration of Helsinki, it is imperative to remove the ambiguities in Paragraph 32. In the context of collaborative trials, when a treatment exists, conducting PCTs is ethically unacceptable, irrespective of the geographic location of the trial. Universal standards ought to be applied universally.
Duncan, Pamela W; Sullivan, Katherine J; Behrman, Andrea L; Azen, Stanley P; Wu, Samuel S; Nadeau, Stephen E; Dobkin, Bruce H; Rose, Dorian K; Tilson, Julie K
Background Locomotor training using body weight support and a treadmill as a therapeutic modality for rehabilitation of walking post-stroke is being rapidly adopted into clinical practice. There is an urgent need for a well-designed trial to determine the effectiveness of this intervention. The objective of the Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke (LEAPS) trial is to determine if there is a difference in the proportion of participants who recover walking ability at one year post-stroke when randomized to a specialized locomotor training program (LTP), conducted at 2- or 6-months post-stroke, or those randomized to a home based non-specific, low intensity exercise intervention (HEP) provided 2 months post-stroke. We will determine if the timing of LTP delivery affects gait speed at 1 year and whether initial impairment severity interacts with the timing of LTP. The effect of number of treatment sessions will be determined by changes in gait speed taken pre-treatment and post-12, -24, and -36 sessions. Methods/Design We will recruit 400 adults with moderate or severe walking limitations within 30 days of stroke onset. At two months post stroke, participants are stratified by locomotor impairment severity as determined by overground walking speed and randomly assigned to one of three groups: (a) LTP-Early; (b) LTP-Late or (c) Home Exercise Program -Early. The LTP program includes body weight support on a treadmill and overground training. The LTP and HEP interventions are delivered for 36 sessions over 12 weeks. Primary outcome measure include successful walking recovery defined as the achievement of a 0.4 m/s gait speed or greater by persons with initial severe gait impairment or the achievement of a 0.8 m/s gait speed or greater by persons with initial moderate gait impairment. LEAPS is powered to detect a 20% difference in the proportion of participants achieving successful locomotor recovery between the LTP groups and the HEP group, and a 0.1 m/s mean
McKee, Justin B; Elston, John; Evangelou, Nikos; Gerry, Stephen; Fugger, Lars; Kennard, Christopher; Kong, Yazhuo; Palace, Jacqueline; Craner, Matthew
Introduction Neurodegeneration is a widely accepted contributor to the development of long-term disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). While current therapies in MS predominantly target inflammation and reduce relapse rate they have been less effective at preventing long-term disability. The identification and evaluation of effective neuroprotective therapies within a trial paradigm are key unmet needs. Emerging evidence supports amiloride, a licenced diuretic, as a neuroprotective agent in MS through acid sensing ion channel blockade. Optic neuritis (ON) is a common manifestation of MS with correlates of inflammation and neurodegeneration measurable within the visual pathways. Amiloride Clinical Trial In Optic Neuritis (ACTION) will utilise a multimodal approach to assess the neuroprotective efficacy of amiloride in acute ON. Methods and analysis 46 patients will be recruited within 28 days from onset of ON visual symptoms and randomised on a 1:1 basis to placebo or amiloride 10 mg daily. Double-blinded treatment groups will be balanced for age, sex and visual loss severity by a random-deterministic minimisation algorithm. The primary objective is to demonstrate that amiloride is neuroprotective in ON as assessed by scanning laser polarimetry of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness at 6 months in the affected eye compared to the unaffected eye at baseline. RNFL in combination with further retinal measures will also be assessed by optical coherence tomography. Secondary outcome measures on brain MRI will include cortical volume, diffusion-weighted imaging, resting state functional MRI, MR spectroscopy and magnetisation transfer ratio. In addition, high and low contrast visual acuity, visual fields, colour vision and electrophysiology will be assessed alongside quality of life measures. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was given by the south central Oxford B research ethics committee (REC reference: 13/SC/0022). The findings
Barratt, T M; Cameron, J S; Chantler, C; Counahan, R; Ogg, C S; Soothill, J F
A controlled trial of azathioprine treatment of steroid-responsive frequent-relapsing nephrotic syndrome of childhood failed to show a therapeutic effect on the stability of remission after withdrawal of corticosteroid treatment. PMID:879831
Siegfried, Nandi Louise; Hughes, Gail
Despite widespread use, few empirical data on the efficacy of traditional medicine are available. We conducted systematic reviews of eight widely used African medicines and identified only one plant, Pelargonium sidoides, which has been extensively studied (including in a Cochrane systematic review). To address the need for rigorous science to underpin traditional medicine claims, the South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute at the University of Western Cape launched the Multi-disciplinary University Traditional Health Initiative (MUTHI) in 2011. The European Union-funded initiative aims to build sustainable research capacity on plants for better public health in Africa. A 2011 needs analysis of clinicians and scientists from 14 African countries confirmed a lack of clinical trial methodology, knowledge and experience. In response, MUTHI deliverables include annual clinical trial methodology workshops in host countries and development of e-learning modules. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for developing African capacity to discover new medicinal products. PMID:23498035
Mellsop, G W; Burgess, C D; Vijayasenan, M E
The therapeutic efficacy and adverse effects of amitriptyline and cianopramine were compared in a double-blind, randomized, flexible-dose trial in 40 patients with major depressive episodes. The two drugs were equally effective in reducing scores on the Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression and on a global scale. Both drugs were associated with significant adverse effects. Fewer adverse effects were associated with cianopramine, however, which lacks antimuscarinic activity.
Objective To characterize the types of control procedures used in controlled clinical trials of cervical spine manipulation and to evaluate the outcomes obtained by subjects in control groups so as to improve the quality of future clinical trials Methods A search of relevant clinical trials was performed in PubMed 1966-May 2010 with the following key words: "Chiropractic"[Mesh] OR "Manipulation, Spinal"[Mesh]) AND "Clinical Trial "[Publication Type]. Reference lists from these trials were searched for any additional trials. The reference lists of two prior studies, one review and one original study were also searched. Accepted reports were then rated for quality by 2 reviewers using the PEDro scale. Studies achieving a score of >50% were included for data extraction and analysis. Intra-group change scores on pain outcomes were obtained. For determining clinically important outcomes, a threshold of 20% improvement was used where continuous data were available; otherwise, an effect size of 0.30 was employed Results The PubMed search yielded 753 citations of which 13 were selected. Eight (8) other studies were identified by reviewing two systematic reviews and through reference searches. All studies scored >50% on the PEDro scale. There were 9 multi-session studies and 12 single-session studies. The most commonly used control procedure was "manual contact/no thrust". Four (4) studies used a placebo-control (patient blinded). For two of these studies with VAS data, the average change reported was 4.5 mm. For the other control procedures, variable results were obtained. No clinically important changes were reported in 57% of the paired comparisons, while, in 43% of these, changes which would be considered clinically important were obtained in the control groups. Only 15% of trials reported on post-intervention group registration. Conclusions Most control procedures in cervical manipulation trials result in small clinical changes, although larger changes are observed in
Stanworth, S J; Brunskill, S J; Hyde, C J; McClelland, D B L; Murphy, M F
Summary Randomized controlled trials of good quality are a recognized means to robustly assess the efficacy of interventions in clinical practice. A systematic identification and appraisal of all randomized trials involving fresh frozen plasma (FFP) has been undertaken in parallel to the drafting of the updated British Committee for Standards in Haematology guidelines on the use of FFP. A total of 57 trials met the criteria for inclusion in the review. Most clinical uses of FFP, currently recommended by practice guidelines, are not supported by evidence from randomized trials. In particular, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of the prophylactic use of FFP. Many published trials on the use of FFP have enrolled small numbers of patients, and provided inadequate information on the ability of the trial to detect meaningful differences in outcomes between the two patient groups. Other concerns about the design of the trials include the dose of FFP used, and the potential for bias. No studies have taken adequate account of the extent to which adverse effects might negate the clinical benefits of treatment with FFP. There is a need to consider how best to develop new trials to determine the efficacy of FFP in different clinical scenarios to provide the evidence base to support national guidelines for transfusion practice. Trials of modified FFP (e.g. pathogen inactivated) are of questionable value when there is little evidence that the standard product is an effective treatment. PMID:15198745
Background Qualitative research is undertaken with randomized controlled trials of health interventions. Our aim was to explore the perceptions of researchers with experience of this endeavour to understand the added value of qualitative research to the trial in practice. Methods A telephone semi-structured interview study with 18 researchers with experience of undertaking the trial and/or the qualitative research. Results Interviewees described the added value of qualitative research for the trial, explaining how it solved problems at the pretrial stage, explained findings, and helped to increase the utility of the evidence generated by the trial. From the interviews, we identified three models of relationship of the qualitative research to the trial. In ‘the peripheral’ model, the trial was an opportunity to undertake qualitative research, with no intention that it would add value to the trial. In ‘the add-on’ model, the qualitative researcher understood the potential value of the qualitative research but it was viewed as a separate and complementary endeavour by the trial lead investigator and wider team. Interviewees described how this could limit the value of the qualitative research to the trial. Finally ‘the integral’ model played out in two ways. In ‘integral-in-theory’ studies, the lead investigator viewed the qualitative research as essential to the trial. However, in practice the qualitative research was under-resourced relative to the trial, potentially limiting its ability to add value to the trial. In ‘integral-in-practice’ studies, interviewees described how the qualitative research was planned from the beginning of the study, senior qualitative expertise was on the team from beginning to end, and staff and time were dedicated to the qualitative research. In these studies interviewees described the qualitative research adding value to the trial although this value was not necessarily visible beyond the original research team due
Cevallos, Myriam; Züllig, Stephanie; Christen, Andri; Meier, Brigitte E; Goetz, Martin; Coslovsky, Michael; Trelle, Sven
Background/Aims: Several countries are working to adapt clinical trial regulations to align the approval process to the level of risk for trial participants. The optimal framework to categorize clinical trials according to risk remains unclear, however. Switzerland is the first European country to adopt a risk-based categorization procedure in January 2014. We assessed how accurately and consistently clinical trials are categorized using two different approaches: an approach using criteria set forth in the new law (concept) or an intuitive approach (ad hoc). Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial with a method-comparison study nested in each arm. We used clinical trial protocols from eight Swiss ethics committees approved between 2010 and 2011. Protocols were randomly assigned to be categorized in one of three risk categories using the concept or the ad hoc approach. Each protocol was independently categorized by the trial’s sponsor, a group of experts and the approving ethics committee. The primary outcome was the difference in categorization agreement between the expert group and sponsors across arms. Linear weighted kappa was used to quantify agreements, with the difference between kappas being the primary effect measure. Results: We included 142 of 231 protocols in the final analysis (concept = 78; ad hoc = 64). Raw agreement between the expert group and sponsors was 0.74 in the concept and 0.78 in the ad hoc arm. Chance-corrected agreement was higher in the ad hoc (kappa: 0.34 (95% confidence interval = 0.10–0.58)) than in the concept arm (0.27 (0.06–0.50)), but the difference was not significant (p = 0.67). Limitations: The main limitation was the large number of protocols excluded from the analysis mostly because they did not fit with the clinical trial definition of the new law. Conclusion: A structured risk categorization approach was not better than an ad hoc approach. Laws introducing risk-based approaches should provide guidelines
Stevenson, Graham; Thornton, James G
Summary Objectives To determine the consistency between information contained in the registration and publication of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Design An observational study of RCTs published between May 2011 and May 2012 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) comparing registry data with publication data. Participants and Settings Data extracted from published RCTs in BMJ and JAMA. Main outcome measures Timing of trial registration in relation to completion of trial data collection and publication. Registered versus published primary and secondary outcomes, sample size. Results We identified 40 RCTs in BMJ and 36 in JAMA. All 36 JAMA trials and 39 (98%) BMJ trials were registered. All registered trials were registered prior to publication. Thirty-two (82%) BMJ trials recorded the date of data completion; of these, in two trials the date of trial registration postdated the registered date of data completion. There were discrepancies between primary outcomes declared in the trial registry information and in the published paper in 18 (47%) BMJ papers and seven (19%) JAMA papers. The original sample size stated in the trial registration was achieved in 24 (60%) BMJ papers and 21 (58%) JAMA papers. Conclusions Compulsory registration of RCTs is meaningless if the content of registry information is not complete or if discrepancies between registration and publication are not reported. This study demonstrates that discrepancies in primary and secondary outcomes and sample size between trial registration and publication remain commonplace, giving further strength to the World Health Organisation’s argument for mandatory completion of a minimum number of compulsory fields. PMID:25057391
Calvert, Melanie; Bartlett, David C; Gheorghe, Adrian; Redman, Val; Dowswell, George; Hawkins, William; Mak, Tony; Youssef, Haney; Richardson, Caroline; Hornby, Steven; Magill, Laura; Haslop, Richard; Wilson, Sue; Morton, Dion
Objective To determine the clinical effectiveness of wound edge protection devices in reducing surgical site infection after abdominal surgery. Design Multicentre observer blinded randomised controlled trial. Participants Patients undergoing laparotomy at 21 UK hospitals. Interventions Standard care or the use of a wound edge protection device during surgery. Main outcome measures Surgical site infection within 30 days of surgery, assessed by blinded clinicians at seven and 30 days and by patient’s self report for the intervening period. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, duration of stay in hospital, and the effect of characteristics of the patient and operation on the efficacy of the device. Results 760 patients were enrolled with 382 patients assigned to the device group and 378 to the control group. Six patients in the device group and five in the control group did not undergo laparotomy. Fourteen patients, seven in each group, were lost to follow-up. A total of 184 patients experienced surgical site infection within 30 days of surgery, 91/369 (24.7%) in the device group and 93/366 (25.4%) in the control group (odds ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.69 to 1.36; P=0.85). This lack of benefit was consistent across wound assessments performed by clinicians and those reported by patients and across all secondary outcomes. In the secondary analyses no subgroup could be identified in which there was evidence of clinical benefit associated with use of the device. Conclusions Wound edge protection devices do not reduce the rate of surgical site infection in patients undergoing laparotomy, and therefore their routine use for this role cannot be recommended. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN 40402832 PMID:23903454
Healy, D A; Boyle, E; McCartan, D; Bourke, M; Medani, M; Ferguson, J; Yagoub, H; Bashar, K; O'Donnell, M; Newell, J; Canning, C; McMonagle, M; Dowdall, J; Cross, S; O'Daly, S; Manning, B; Fulton, G; Kavanagh, E G; Burke, P; Grace, P A; Moloney, M Clarke; Walsh, S R
A pilot randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effect of remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) on clinical outcomes following major vascular surgery was performed. Eligible patients were those scheduled to undergo open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy, and lower limb revascularization procedures. Patients were randomized to RIPC or to control groups. The primary outcome was a composite clinical end point comprising any of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, new-onset arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, congestive cardiac failure, cerebrovascular accident, renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy, mesenteric ischemia, and urgent cardiac revascularization. Secondary outcomes were components of the primary outcome and myocardial injury as assessed by serum troponin values. The primary outcome occurred in 19 (19.2%) of 99 controls and 14 (14.1%) of 99 RIPC group patients (P = .446). There were no significant differences in secondary outcomes. Our trial generated data that will guide future trials. Further trials are urgently needed.
Background Besides the classical role of vitamin D on calcium and bone homeostasis, vitamin D deficiency has recently been identified as a contributing factor in the onset of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, it is uncertain whether vitamin D deficiency and poor glycaemic control are causally interrelated or that they constitute two independent features of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There are limited clinical trials carried out which measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycaemic control. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycaemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods/design In a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted in five general practices in the Netherlands three hundred patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with lifestyle advises or metformin or sulphonylurea-derivatives are randomised to receive either placebo or 50,000 IU Vitamin D3 at monthly intervals. The primary outcome measure is the change in glycated haemoglobin level between baseline and six months. Secondary outcome measures include blood pressure, anthropometric parameters, lipid profile, insulin resistance, quality of life, advanced glycation end products and safety profiles. Quality of life will be measured by The Short Form (SF-36) Health Survey questionnaire. Advanced glycation end products are measured by an AGE-reader. Discussion This trial will be the first study exploring the effect of vitamin D supplementation on both glycaemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our findings will contribute to the knowledge of the relationship between vitamin D status and insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Trial registration The Netherlands trial register: NTR3154 PMID:25033925
Jia, Zhenyu; Lilly, Michael B; Koziol, James A; Chen, Xin; Xia, Xiao-Qin; Wang, Yipeng; Skarecky, Douglas; Sutton, Manuel; Sawyers, Anne; Ruckle, Herbert; Carpenter, Philip M; Wang-Rodriguez, Jessica; Jiang, Jun; Deng, Mingsen; Pan, Cong; Zhu, Jian-Guo; McLaren, Christine E; Gurley, Michael J; Lee, Chung; McClelland, Michael; Ahlering, Thomas; Kattan, Michael W; Mercola, Dan
It is difficult to construct a control group for trials of adjuvant therapy (Rx) of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (RP) due to ethical issues and patient acceptance. We utilized 8 curve-fitting models to estimate the time to 60%, 65%, … 95% chance of progression free survival (PFS) based on the data derived from Kattan post-RP nomogram. The 8 models were systematically applied to a training set of 153 post-RP cases without adjuvant Rx to develop 8 subsets of cases (reference case sets) whose observed PFS times were most accurately predicted by each model. To prepare a virtual control group for a single-arm adjuvant Rx trial, we first select the optimal model for the trial cases based on the minimum weighted Euclidean distance between the trial case set and the reference case set in terms of clinical features, and then compare the virtual PFS times calculated by the optimum model with the observed PFSs of the trial cases by the logrank test. The method was validated using an independent dataset of 155 post-RP patients without adjuvant Rx. We then applied the method to patients on a Phase II trial of adjuvant chemo-hormonal Rx post RP, which indicated that the adjuvant Rx is highly effective in prolonging PFS after RP in patients at high risk for prostate cancer recurrence. The method can accurately generate control groups for single-arm, post-RP adjuvant Rx trials for prostate cancer, facilitating development of new therapeutic strategies.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of yoga in the management of chronic neck pain. [Subjects and Methods] Five electronic databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of yoga intervention on chronic neck pain. The trials were published in the English language between January 1966 and December 2015. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to assess the quality of the trials. [Results] Three trials were identified and included in this review. A critical appraisal was performed on the trials, and the result indicated a high risk of bias. A narrative description was processed because of the small number of RCTs. Neck pain intensity and functional disability were significantly lower in the yoga groups than in the control groups. [Conclusion] Evidence from the 3 randomly controlled trials shows that yoga may be beneficial for chronic neck pain. The low-quality result of the critical appraisal and the small number of trials suggest that high-quality RCTs are required to examine further the effects of yoga intervention on chronic neck pain relief. PMID:27512290
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of yoga in the management of chronic neck pain. [Subjects and Methods] Five electronic databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of yoga intervention on chronic neck pain. The trials were published in the English language between January 1966 and December 2015. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to assess the quality of the trials. [Results] Three trials were identified and included in this review. A critical appraisal was performed on the trials, and the result indicated a high risk of bias. A narrative description was processed because of the small number of RCTs. Neck pain intensity and functional disability were significantly lower in the yoga groups than in the control groups. [Conclusion] Evidence from the 3 randomly controlled trials shows that yoga may be beneficial for chronic neck pain. The low-quality result of the critical appraisal and the small number of trials suggest that high-quality RCTs are required to examine further the effects of yoga intervention on chronic neck pain relief. PMID:27512290
AKEHURST, R; KALTENTHALER, E
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic disorder that is associated with significant disability and health care costs. The purpose of this paper is to review and assess published randomised controlled trials examining the clinical effectiveness of interventions for IBS for 1987-1998. A literature search was conducted to identify randomised controlled trials of IBS treatments: 45 studies were identified that described randomised controlled trials and of these, six fulfilled all three criteria used to assess the quality of randomised controlled trials, as described by Jadad and colleagues.1 These criteria are: adequate description of randomisation, double blinding, and description of withdrawals and dropouts. It is concluded that there are few studies which offer convincing evidence of effectiveness in treating the IBS symptom complex. This review strongly suggests that future work should include well designed trials that: describe the randomisation method; use internationally approved diagnostic criteria; and are double blinded and placebo controlled. Clear well defined outcome measures are necessary. Inclusion of quality of life measures allows comparison between trials in different therapeutic areas. Conducting such studies will help to overcome some of the difficulties identified in this review. PMID:11156653
Campbell, Karen; Hesketh, Kylie; Crawford, David; Salmon, Jo; Ball, Kylie; McCallum, Zoë
Background Multiple factors combine to support a compelling case for interventions that target the development of obesity-promoting behaviours (poor diet, low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour) from their inception. These factors include the rapidly increasing prevalence of fatness throughout childhood, the instigation of obesity-promoting behaviours in infancy, and the tracking of these behaviours from childhood through to adolescence and adulthood. The Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial (INFANT) aims to determine the effectiveness of an early childhood obesity prevention intervention delivered to first-time parents. The intervention, conducted with parents over the infant's first 18 months of life, will use existing social networks (first-time parent's groups) and an anticipatory guidance framework focusing on parenting skills which support the development of positive diet and physical activity behaviours, and reduced sedentary behaviours in infancy. Methods/Design This cluster-randomised controlled trial, with first-time parent groups as the unit of randomisation, will be conducted with a sample of 600 first-time parents and their newborn children who attend the first-time parents' group at Maternal and Child Health Centres. Using a two-stage sampling process, local government areas in Victoria, Australia will be randomly selected at the first stage. At the second stage, a proportional sample of first-time parent groups within selected local government areas will be randomly selected and invited to participate. Informed consent will be obtained and groups will then be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. Discussion The early years hold promise as a time in which obesity prevention may be most effective. To our knowledge this will be the first randomised trial internationally to demonstrate whether an early health promotion program delivered to first-time parents in their existing social groups promotes healthy eating
Pinol, A; Bergel, E; Chaisiri, K; Diaz, E; Gandeh, M
The World Health Organisation, in collaboration with four developing countries, is conducting a randomised controlled clinical trial to evaluate a new programme of antenatal care. In a city or region in Argentina, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, 53 clinical units were randomly allocated to provide either the new programme or the programme currently in use. This paper describes the organisation of the data management system used to collect the data. Each woman participating in the trial is uniquely identified, and information such as her name, address and expected delivery date is recorded in the trial 'subject number list'. If the clinic belongs to the intervention group, information about the woman's eligibility is recorded on the classification form. Details of the outcome of the pregnancy are indicated on two additional case report forms: the antenatal hospital admission form and the summary form. When forms are completed by the investigators, they are submitted to the country data coordinating centre (CDCC). The CDCCs are responsible for the processing of the country study forms. This includes verification of the batch of forms, data capture into computer files, data verification, data validation, production of query sheets for data problems, maintenance and updating of study master files. All operations on data such as additions or modifications are performed using transaction processing. At monthly intervals, recruitment reports and transaction files are sent to the trial coordinating centre in Geneva. All transaction files are processed to accumulate data on the trial's consolidated master files. A monthly report including number of women recruited in the trial, adverse events reported by the countries, recruitment charts by clinic and analyses on eligible women in the intervention group is prepared and submitted to the data safety and monitoring committee. A workshop was organised in 1995, before the start of the trial, to introduce the data management
Chow, Roberta; Pirotta, Marie
Low-level laser therapy has evidence accumulating about its effectiveness in a variety of medical conditions. We reviewed 51 double blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of laser treatment. Analysis revealed 58% of trials showed benefit of laser over placebo. However, less than 5% of the trials had addressed beam disguise or allocation concealment in the laser machines used. Many of the trials used blinding methods that rely on staff cooperation and are therefore open to interference or bias. This indicates significant deficiencies in laser trial methodology. We report the development and preliminary testing of a novel laser machine that can blind both patient and operator to treatment allocation without staff participation. The new laser machine combines sealed preset and non-bypassable randomization codes, decoy lights and sound, and a conical perspex tip to overcome laser diode glow detection. PMID:18955233
Vergnes, Jean-Noel; Arrivé, Elise; Gourdy, Pierre; Hanaire, Hélène; Rigalleau, Vincent; Gin, Henri; Sédarat, Cyril; Dorignac, Georges; Bou, Christophe; Sixou, Michel; Nabet, Cathy
Background Periodontitis is a common, chronic inflammatory disease caused by gram-negative bacteria leading to destruction of tissues supporting the teeth. Epidemiological studies have consistently shown increased frequency, extent and severity of periodontitis among diabetic adults. More recently, some controlled clinical trials have also suggested that periodontal treatment could improve glycaemic control in diabetic patients. However current evidence does not provide sufficient information on which to confidently base any clinical recommendations. The main objective of this clinical trial is to assess whether periodontal treatment could lead to a decrease in glycated haemoglobin levels in metabolically unbalanced diabetic patients suffering from chronic periodontitis. Methods The DIAPERIO trial is an open-label, 13-week follow-up, randomized, controlled trial. The total target sample size is planned at 150 participants, with a balanced (1:1) treatment allocation (immediate treatment vs delayed treatment). Periodontal treatment will include full mouth non-surgical scaling and root planing, systemic antibiotherapy, local antiseptics (chlorhexidine 0.12%) and oral health instructions. The primary outcome will be the difference in change of HbA1c between the two groups after the 13-weeks' follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be the difference in change of fructosamine levels and quality of life between the two groups. Discussion The DIAPERIO trial will provide insight into the question of whether periodontal treatment could lead to an improvement in glycaemic control in metabolically unbalanced diabetic patients suffering from periodontitis. The results of this trial will help to provide evidence-based recommendations for clinicians and a draft framework for designing national health policies. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN15334496 PMID:19646281
Alderson, P.; Roberts, I.
OBJECTIVE: To quantify the effectiveness and safety of corticosteroids in the treatment of acute traumatic brain injury. DESIGN: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of corticosteroids in acute traumatic brain injury. Summary odds ratios were estimated as an inverse variance weighted average of the odds ratios for each study. SETTING: Randomised trials available by March 1996. SUBJECTS: The included trials with outcome data comprised 2073 randomised participants. RESULTS: The effect of corticosteroids on the risk of death was reported in 13 included trials. The pooled odds ratio for the 13 trials was 0.91 (95% confidence interval 0.74 to 1.12). Pooled absolute risk reduction was 1.8% (-2.5% to 5.7%). For the 10 trials that reported death or disability the pooled odds ratio was 0.90 (0.72 to 1.11). For infections of any type the pooled odds ratio was 0.92 (0.69 to 1.23) and for the seven trials reporting gastrointestinal bleeding it was 1.05 (0.44 to 2.52). With only those trials with the best quality of concealment of allocation, the pooled odds ratio estimates for death and death or disability became closer to unity. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review of randomised controlled trials of corticosteroids in acute traumatic brain injury shows that there remains considerable uncertainty over their effects. Neither moderate benefits nor moderate harmful effects can be excluded. The widely practicable nature of the drugs and the importance of the health problem suggest that large simple trials are feasible and worth while to establish whether there are any benefits from use of corticosteroids in this setting. PMID:9224126
Huf, Gisele; Coutinho, Evandro SF; Adams, Clive E
Background Agitated or violent patients constitute 10% of all emergency psychiatric treatment. Management guidelines, the preferred treatment of clinicians and clinical practice all differ. Systematic reviews show that all relevant studies are small and none are likely to have adequate power to show true differences between treatments. Worldwide, current treatment is not based on evidence from randomised trials. In Brazil, the combination haloperidol-promethazine is frequently used, but no studies involving this mix exist. Methods TREC-Rio (Tranquilização Rápida-Ensaio Clínico [Translation: Rapid Tranquillisation-Clinical Trial]) will compare midazolam with haloperidol-promethazine mix for treatment of agitated patients in emergency psychiatric rooms of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TREC-Rio is a randomised, controlled, pragmatic and open study. Primary measure of outcome is tranquillisation at 20 minutes but effects on other measures of morbidity will also be assessed. TREC-Rio will involve the collaboration of as many health care professionals based in four psychiatric emergency rooms of Rio as possible. Because the design of this trial does not substantially complicate clinical management, and in several aspects simplifies it, the study can be large, and treatments used in everyday practice can be evaluated. PMID:12383353
Background Diarrheal diseases and dengue fever are major global health problems. Where provision of clean water is inadequate, water storage is crucial. Fecal contamination of stored water is a common source of diarrheal illness, but stored water also provides breeding sites for dengue vector mosquitoes. Poor household water management and sanitation are therefore potential determinants of both diseases. Little is known of the role of stored water for the combined risk of diarrhea and dengue, yet a joint role would be important for developing integrated control and management efforts. Even less is known of the effect of integrating control of these diseases in school settings. The objective of this trial was to investigate whether interventions against diarrhea and dengue will significantly reduce diarrheal disease and dengue entomological risk factors in rural primary schools. Methods/design This is a 2×2 factorial cluster randomized controlled trial. Eligible schools were rural primary schools in La Mesa and Anapoima municipalities, Cundinamarca, Colombia. Eligible pupils were school children in grades 0 to 5. Schools were randomized to one of four study arms: diarrhea interventions (DIA); dengue interventions (DEN); combined diarrhea and dengue interventions (DIADEN); and control (C). Schools were allocated publicly in each municipality (strata) at the start of the trial, obviating the need for allocation concealment. The primary outcome for diarrhea is incidence rate of diarrhea in school children and for dengue it is density of adult female Aedes aegypti per school. Approximately 800 pupils from 34 schools were enrolled in the trial with eight schools in the DIA arm, nine in the DEN, eight in the DIADEN, and nine in the control arms. The trial status as of June 2012 was: completed baseline data collections; enrollment, randomization, and allocation of schools. The trial was funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Lazos de Calandaima Foundation
Cresswell, Pip; Gilmour, Jean
Clinical trials are carried out with human participants to answer questions about the best way to diagnose, treat and prevent illness. Participants must give informed consent to take part in clinical trials that requires understanding of how clinical trials work and their purpose. Randomised controlled trials provide strong evidence but their complex design is difficult for both clinicians and participants to understand. Increasingly, ensuring informed consent in randomised controlled trials has become part of the clinical research nurse role. The aim of this study was to explore in depth the clinical research nurse role in the informed consent process using a qualitative descriptive approach. Three clinical research nurses were interviewed and data analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Three themes were identified to describe the process of ensuring informed consent. The first theme, Preparatory partnerships, canvassed the relationships required prior to initiation of the informed consent process. The second theme, Partnering the participant, emphasises the need for ensuring voluntariness and understanding, along with patient advocacy. The third theme, Partnership with the project, highlights the clinical research nurse contribution to the capacity of the trial to answer the research question through appropriate recruiting and follow up of participants. Gaining informed consent in randomised controlled trials was complex and required multiple partnerships. A wide variety of skills was used to protect the safety of trial participants and promote quality research. The information from this study contributes to a greater understanding of the clinical research nurse role, and suggests the informed consent process in trials can be a nurse-led one. In order to gain collegial, employer and industry recognition it is important this aspect of the nursing role is acknowledged.
Krogh, Jesper; Erlangsen, Annette; Alberdi, Francisco; Nordentoft, Merete
Objective To assess whether an assertive outreach intervention after suicide attempt could reduce the frequency of subsequent suicidal acts, compared with standard treatment. Design Randomised, parallel group, superiority trial with blinded outcome assessment. Setting Outpatient intervention at one location at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. Participants Patients older than 12 years admitted to regional hospitals in Copenhagen with a suicide attempt within the past 14 days. We excluded patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and patients living in institutions. Intervention Case management through assertive outreach that provided crisis intervention and flexible problem solving. This approach incorporated motivational support and actively assisted patients to scheduled appointments to improve adherence with after-treatment as an add on to standard treatment. Main outcome Repeated suicide attempt and death by suicide, recorded in medical records and death register at 1-year follow-up. Results 243 patients were included. During 12 months of follow-up, 20/123 (16%) patients in the intervention group had been registered in hospital records with subsequent suicide attempt, compared with 13/120 (11%) in the control group (odds ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 0.76 to 3.38; P=0.22). By contrast, self reported data on new events showed 11/95 (12%) in the intervention group versus 13/74 (18%) in the control group (0.61, 0.26 to 1.46; P=0.27). By imputing missing data on the selfreported outcomes, we estimated 15/123 (12%) events in the intervention group and 23/120 (19%) in the control group (0.69, 0.34 to 1.43; P=0.32). Conclusion Assertive outreach showed no significant effect on subsequent suicide attempt. The difference in rates of events between register data and self reported data could indicate detection bias. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00700089. PMID:22915730
Background Tennis elbow is a common and often extremely painful musculoskeletal condition, which has considerable impact on individuals as well as economic implications for healthcare utilization and absence from work. Many management strategies have been studied in clinical trials. Whilst corticosteroid injections offer short term pain relief, this treatment is unpleasant and is used with caution due to an associated high risk of pain recurrence in the long term. Systematic reviews conclude that there is no clear and effective treatment for symptoms of pain in the first 6 weeks of the condition. There is a clear need for an intervention that is acceptable to patients and provides them with effective short-term pain relief without increasing the risk of recurrence. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an inexpensive, non-invasive, non-pharmacological form of analgesia that is commonly used in the treatment of pain. TENS has very few contraindications and is simple to apply. It also benefits from being patient controlled, thereby promoting self-management. This study aims to assess the effectiveness, in terms of pain relief, and cost-effectiveness of a self-management package of treatment that includes TENS. Methods/Design The design of the study will be a two-group pragmatic randomized clinical trial. 240 participants aged 18 years and over with tennis elbow will be recruited from 20-30 GP practices in Staffordshire, UK. Participants are to be randomized on a 1:1 basis to receive either primary care management (standard GP consultation, medication, advice and education) or primary care management with the addition of TENS, over 6 weeks. Our primary outcome measure is average intensity of elbow pain in the past 24 hours (0-10 point numerical rating scale) at 6 weeks. Secondary outcomes include pain and limitation of function, global assessment of change, days of sick leave, illness perceptions, and overall health status. A cost
Cho, Gavin; Anie, Kofi A; Buckton, Jacky; Kiilu, Patricia; Layton, Mark; Alexander, Lydia; Hemmaway, Claire; Sutton, Dorothy; Amos, Claire; Doré, Caroline J; Kahan, Brennan; Meredith, Sarah
Objectives Sickle With Ibuprofen and Morphine (SWIM) trial was designed to assess whether co-administration of ibuprofen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) resulted in a reduction of opioid consumption delivered by patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for acute pain in sickle cell disease. Design A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Setting UK multicentre trial in acute hospital setting. Participants Adults with sickle cell disease of any gender and phenotype aged 16 years and over. Interventions Oral ibuprofen at a dose of 800 mg three times daily or placebo in addition to opioids (morphine or diamorphine) administered via PCA pump for up to 4 days. Main outcome measures The primary outcome measure was opioid consumption over 4 days following randomisation. Results The SWIM trial closed early because it failed to randomise to its target of 316 patients within a reasonable time. Conclusions The key issues identified include the unanticipated length of time between informed consent and randomisation, difficulties in randomisation of patients in busy emergency departments, availability of trained staff at weekends and out of hours, fewer centres than expected using PCA routinely for sickle cell pain treatment, lack of research staff and support for participation, and the trial design. There are implications for future UK trials in sickle cell disease. Trial registration number ISRCTN97241637, NCT00880373; Pre-results. PMID:27288381
Kleijnen, J; Knipschild, P
Fifty-three controlled trials of the effects of niacin, vitamin B6, and multivitamins on mental functions are reviewed. The results are interpreted with emphasis on the methodological quality of the trials. It turns out that virtually all trials show serious short-comings: in the number of participants, the presentation of baseline characteristics and outcomes, and the description of changes in concomitant treatments. Only in autistic children are some positive results are found with very high dosages of vitamin B6 combined with magnesium, but further evidence is needed before more definitive conclusions can be drawn. For many other indications (hyperactive children, children with Down's syndrome, IQ changes in healthy schoolchildren, schizophrenia, psychological functions in healthy adults and geriatric patients) there is no adequate support from controlled trials in favor of vitamin supplementation. PMID:1828703
Maldonado Fernández, Miguel; Kornetsky, Susan; Rubio Rodriguez, Laura
Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) involves sudden loss of hearing from cochlear or retrocochlear origin of unknown cause. Systemic corticosteroids may be considered in the management of ISSNHL. However, an updated Cochrane systematic review concludes that "the value of steroids in the treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss remains unclear since the evidence obtained from randomized controlled trials is contradictory in outcome." Therefore, a new clinical trial that addresses this question is mandatory. A first step in its design is to determine if placebo control would be ethically acceptable. We conclude that there is equipoise (uncertainty) about the use of corticosteroids for ISSHL. A new trial is justified-but with the inclusion of interim analyses to detect early imbalances on efficacy or safety and with the ability to stop the trial if needed.
Maldonado Fernández, Miguel; Kornetsky, Susan; Rubio Rodriguez, Laura
Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) involves sudden loss of hearing from cochlear or retrocochlear origin of unknown cause. Systemic corticosteroids may be considered in the management of ISSNHL. However, an updated Cochrane systematic review concludes that "the value of steroids in the treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss remains unclear since the evidence obtained from randomized controlled trials is contradictory in outcome." Therefore, a new clinical trial that addresses this question is mandatory. A first step in its design is to determine if placebo control would be ethically acceptable. We conclude that there is equipoise (uncertainty) about the use of corticosteroids for ISSHL. A new trial is justified-but with the inclusion of interim analyses to detect early imbalances on efficacy or safety and with the ability to stop the trial if needed. PMID:27371619
Heukelbach, J; Eisele, M; Jackson, A; Feldmeier, H
Tungiasis is caused by the penetration of the female sand flea Tunga penetrans into the epidermis of its host. Human infestation with this ectoparasite is hyper-endemic in many resource-poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and South America and is associated with considerable morbidity. Currently, there is no effective drug available to treat tungiasis (or at least none for which a parasiticidal effect has been clearly demonstrated). In an attempt to fill this gap, the effects of treatment with topical ivermectin (lotion), thiabendazole (ointment and lotion), metrifonate (lotion) or placebo lotion were compared in a randomized trial. A total of 108 subjects with 169 tungiasis-infested feet participated in the study. The results show that topical ivermectin, metrifonate or thiabendazole can each significantly reduce the number of lesions caused by embedded sand fleas. Further studies are needed to optimise the doses and administration of these compounds.
Linder, Susan M.; Rosenfeldt, Anson B.; Reiss, Aimee; Buchanan, Sharon; Sahu, Komal; Bay, Curtis R.; Wolf, Steven L.; Alberts, Jay L.
Rationale Because many individuals post-stroke lack access to the quality and intensity of rehabilitation to improve upper extremity (UE) motor function, a home-based robotic-assisted UE rehabilitation device is being paired with an individualized home exercise program (HEP). Aims/Hypothesis The primary aim of this project is to determine the effectiveness of robotic-assisted home therapy compared to a home exercise program on UE motor recovery and health-related quality of life for stroke survivors in rural and underserved locations. The secondary aim is to explore whether initial degree of motor function of the upper limb may be a factor in predicting the extent to which patients with stroke may be responsive to a home therapy approach. The HEP intervention, when enhanced with robotic-assisted therapy will result in significantly better outcomes in motor function and quality of life. Design A total of 96 participants within six months of a single, unilateral ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke will be recruited in this prospective, single-blind, multi-site randomized clinical trial. Study Outcomes The primary outcome is the change in UE function using the Action Research Arm Test. Secondary outcomes include changes in: UE function (Wolf Motor Function Test), UE impairment (UE portion of the Fugl-Meyer Test), self-reported quality of life (Stroke Impact Scale), and affect (Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale). Discussion Similar or greater improvements in UE function using the combined robotic-HEP intervention compared to HEP alone will be interpreted as evidence that supports the introduction of in-home technology to augment the recovery of function post-stroke. PMID:23280269
Holman, Andrew J
A flurry of recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials assessing dissimilar pharmacotherapeutic treatment options for fibromyalgia (FM) have been presented in the past few years. This review evaluates these trials in light of recent pathophysiological concepts germane to FM, including mood disorders, autonomic dysregulation, altered sleep stage architecture, and the diagnostic tender point controversy. Studies with gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine, milnacipran, sodium oxybate, and pramipexole for treatment of FM are discussed.
Zheng, Hui; Tian, Xiao-ping; Li, Ying; Liang, Fan-rong; Yu, Shu-guang; Liu, Xu-guang; Tang, Yong; Yang, Xu-guang; Yan, Jie; Sun, Guo-jie; Chang, Xiao-rong; Zhang, Hong-xing; Ma, Ting-ting; Yu, Shu-yuan
Background Acupuncture is widely used in China to treat functional dyspepsia (FD). However, its effectiveness in the treatment of FD, and whether FD-specific acupoints exist, are controversial. So this study aims to determine if acupuncture is an effective treatment for FD and if acupoint specificity exists according to traditional acupuncture meridians and acupoint theories. Design This multicenter randomized controlled trial will include four acupoint treatment groups, one non-acupoint control group and one drug (positive control) group. The four acupoint treatment groups will focus on: (1) specific acupoints of the stomach meridian; (2) non-specific acupoints of the stomach meridian; (3) specific acupoints of alarm and transport points; and (4) acupoints of the gallbladder meridian. These four groups of acupoints are thought to differ in terms of clinical efficacy, according to traditional acupuncture meridians and acupoint theories. A total of 120 FD patients will be included in each group. Each patient will receive 20 sessions of acupuncture treatment over 4 weeks. The trial will be conducted in eight hospitals located in three centers of China. The primary outcomes in this trial will include differences in Nepean Dyspepsia Index scores and differences in the Symptom Index of Dyspepsia before randomization, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after randomization, and 1 month and 3 months after completing treatment. Discussion The important features of this trial include the randomization procedures (controlled by a central randomization system), a standardized protocol of acupuncture manipulation, and the fact that this is the first multicenter randomized trial of FD and acupuncture to be performed in China. The results of this trial will determine whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for FD and whether using different acupoints or different meridians leads to differences in clinical efficacy. Trial registration number Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT00599677
von Dadelszen, Peter; Singer, Joel; Lee, Terry; Rey, Evelyne; Ross, Susan; Asztalos, Elizabeth; Murphy, Kellie E.; Menzies, Jennifer; Sanchez, Johanna; Gafni, Amiram; Helewa, Michael; Hutton, Eileen; Koren, Gideon; Lee, Shoo K.; Logan, Alexander G.; Ganzevoort, Wessel; Welch, Ross; Thornton, Jim G.; Moutquin, Jean-Marie
To determine whether clinical outcomes differed by occurrence of severe hypertension in the international CHIPS trial (Control of Hypertension in Pregnancy Study), adjusting for the interventions of “less tight” (target diastolic blood pressure [dBP] 100 mm Hg) versus “tight” control (target dBP 85 mm Hg). In this post-hoc analysis of CHIPS data from 987 women with nonsevere nonproteinuric preexisting or gestational hypertension, mixed effects logistic regression was used to compare the following outcomes according to occurrence of severe hypertension, adjusting for allocated group and the influence of baseline factors: CHIPS primary (perinatal loss or high-level neonatal care for >48 hours) and secondary outcomes (serious maternal complications), birth weight <10th percentile, preeclampsia, delivery at <34 or <37 weeks, platelets <100×109/L, elevated liver enzymes with symptoms, maternal length of stay ≥10 days, and maternal readmission before 6 weeks postpartum. Three hundred and thirty-four (34.1%) women in CHIPS developed severe hypertension that was associated with all outcomes examined except for maternal readmission (P=0.20): CHIPS primary outcome, birth weight <10th percentile, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, elevated liver enzymes (all P<0.001), platelets <100×109/L (P=0.006), and prolonged hospital stay (P=0.03). The association between severe hypertension and serious maternal complications was seen only in less tight control (P=0.02). Adjustment for preeclampsia (464, 47.3%) did not negate the relationship between severe hypertension and the CHIPS primary outcome (P<0.001), birth weight <10th percentile (P=0.005), delivery at <37 (P<0.001) or <34 weeks (P<0.001), or elevated liver enzymes with symptoms (P=0.02). Severe hypertension is a risk marker for adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes, independent of BP control or preeclampsia co-occurrence. Clinical Trial Registration— URL: http://pre-empt.cfri.ca/. Unique identifier: ISRCTN
Jepson, Marcus; Strong, Sean; Wilson, Caroline; Beard, David; Blazeby, Jane M.; Birtle, Alison; Halliday, Alison
Background Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are essential for evidence-based medicine and increasingly rely on front-line clinicians to recruit eligible patients. Clinicians’ difficulties with negotiating equipoise is assumed to undermine recruitment, although these issues have not yet been empirically investigated in the context of observable events. We aimed to investigate how clinicians conveyed equipoise during RCT recruitment appointments across six RCTs, with a view to (i) identifying practices that supported or hindered equipoise communication and (ii) exploring how clinicians’ reported intentions compared with their actual practices. Methods and Findings Six pragmatic UK-based RCTs were purposefully selected to include several clinical specialties (e.g., oncology, surgery) and types of treatment comparison. The RCTs were all based in secondary-care hospitals (n = 16) around the UK. Clinicians recruiting to the RCTs were interviewed (n = 23) to understand their individual sense of equipoise about the RCT treatments and their intentions for communicating equipoise to patients. Appointments in which these clinicians presented the RCT to trial-eligible patients were audio-recorded (n = 105). The appointments were analysed using thematic and content analysis approaches to identify practices that supported or challenged equipoise communication. A sample of appointments was independently coded by three researchers to optimise reliability in reported findings. Clinicians and patients provided full written consent to be interviewed and have appointments audio-recorded. Interviews revealed that clinicians’ sense of equipoise varied: although all were uncertain about which trial treatment was optimal, they expressed different levels of uncertainty, ranging from complete ambivalence to clear beliefs that one treatment was superior. Irrespective of their personal views, all clinicians intended to set their personal biases aside to convey trial treatments
Griffis, Joseph C; Elkhetali, Abdurahman S; Vaden, Ryan J; Visscher, Kristina M
Task sets are task-specific configurations of cognitive processes that facilitate task-appropriate reactions to stimuli. While it is established that the trial-by-trial deployment of visual attention to expected stimuli influences neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) in a retinotopically specific manner, it is not clear whether the mechanisms that help maintain a task set over many trials also operate with similar retinotopic specificity. Here, we address this question by using BOLD fMRI to characterize how portions of V1 that are specialized for different eccentricities respond during distinct components of an attention-demanding discrimination task: cue-driven preparation for a trial, trial-driven processing, task-initiation at the beginning of a block of trials, and task-maintenance throughout a block of trials. Tasks required either unimodal attention to an auditory or a visual stimulus or selective intermodal attention to the visual or auditory component of simultaneously presented visual and auditory stimuli. We found that while the retinotopic patterns of trial-driven and cue-driven activity depended on the attended stimulus, the retinotopic patterns of task-initiation and task-maintenance activity did not. Further, only the retinotopic patterns of trial-driven activity were found to depend on the presence of inter-modal distraction. Participants who performed well on the intermodal selective attention tasks showed strong task-specific modulations of both trial-driven and task-maintenance activity. Importantly, task-related modulations of trial-driven and task-maintenance activity were in opposite directions. Together, these results confirm that there are (at least) two different processes for top-down control of V1: One, working trial-by-trial, differently modulates activity across different eccentricity sectors - portions of V1 corresponding to different visual eccentricities. The second process works across longer epochs of task performance, and
Iriyama, Yae; Murayama, Nobuko
Objective: We conducted a randomized controlled crossover trial to evaluate the effects of a new worksite weight-control programme designed for men with or at risk of obesity using a combination of nutrition education and nutrition environmental interventions. Subjects and methods: Male workers with or at risk of obesity were recruited for this…
OBJECTIVE-To determine the efficacy of high-intensity progressive resistance training (PRT) on glycemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-We performed a 16-week randomized controlled trial in 62 Latino older adults (40 women and 22 men; mean +/- SE age 66 +/...
Marshall, David; Wright, Barry; Allgar, Victoria; Adamson, Joy; Williams, Christine; Ainsworth, Hannah; Cook, Liz; Varley, Danielle; Hackney, Lisa; Dempster, Paul; Ali, Shehzad; Trepel, Dominic; Collingridge Moore, Danielle; Littlewood, Elizabeth; McMillan, Dean
Objectives To assess the feasibility of recruitment, retention, outcome measures and intervention training/delivery among teachers, parents and children. To calculate a sample size estimation for full trial. Design A single-centre, unblinded, cluster feasibility randomised controlled trial examining Social Stories delivered within a school environment compared with an attentional control. Setting 37 primary schools in York, UK. Participants 50 participants were recruited and a cluster randomisation approach by school was examined. Participants were randomised into the treatment group (n=23) or a waiting list control group (n=27). Outcome measures Acceptability and feasibility of the trial, intervention and of measurements required to assess outcomes in a definitive trial. Results An assessment of the questionnaire completion rates indicated teachers would be most appropriate to complete the primary outcome measure. 2 outcome measures: the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)-2 and a goal-based measure showed both the highest levels of completion rates (above 80%) at the primary follow-up point (6 weeks postintervention) and captured relevant social and behaviour outcomes. Power calculations were based on these 2 outcome measures leading to a total proposed sample size of 180 participant groups. Conclusions Results suggest that a future trial would be feasible to conduct and could inform the policy and practice of using Social Stories in mainstream schools. Trial registration number ISRCTN96286707; Results. PMID:27515756
Schalkwijk, Stein; Undurraga, Juan; Tondo, Leonardo; Baldessarini, Ross J
Drug-placebo differences (effect-sizes) in controlled trials of antidepressants for major depressive episodes have declined for several decades, in association with selectively increasing clinical improvement associated with placebo-treatment. As these trends require adequate explanation, we tested the hypothesis that decreasing trial-dropout rates may be an important contributor. We gathered reports of peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressants (1980-2011) by computerized literature searching, and applied meta-analysis, meta-regression and multiple linear regression methods to evaluate associations of dropout rates and other factors of interest, to reporting year and reported efficacy [standardized mean drug-placebo difference (SMD) as Hedges' g-statistic]. In 56 trials meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria, we confirmed significant overall efficacy of antidepressants but declining drug-placebo contrasts over the past three decades. Among other changes, there was a corresponding increase in placebo-associated improvement with a decline in placebo-dropout rate, mainly for lack of efficacy. These effects were found only when last-observation-carried-forward (LOCF) analyses were used. Other trial-design and subject factors, including drug-responses and drug-dropout rates, were much less associated with efficacy. We propose that declining placebo-dropout rates ascribed to inefficacy combined with use of LOCF analyses led to increasing improvement in placebo-arms that contributed to declining antidepressant-placebo contrasts in controlled treatment trials since the 1980s.
Planning of prospective controlled clinical trials in surgery requires the use of test and control groups, sufficiently frequent repetition of experiments, random allocation of patients to the groups (example), and balancing. The descriptive data analysis should be performed in a stepwise manner (list of new data, rank list, range, median, quartiles, histogram, mean value standard deviation). The advantages of the median-quartile-system and the prerequisites for application of various significance tests are pointed out. In the conduct of controlled clinical trials, the consultative role of experimental surgeons is proposed.
Background While several recent large randomized trials found clinically relevant effects of acupuncture over no treatment or routine care, blinded trials comparing acupuncture to sham interventions often reported only minor or no differences. This raises the question whether (sham) acupuncture is associated with particularly potent nonspecific effects. We aimed to investigate the size of nonspecific effects associated with acupuncture interventions. Methods MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials and reference lists were searched up to April 2010 to identify randomized trials of acupuncture for any condition, including both sham and no acupuncture control groups. Data were extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second. Pooled standardized mean differences were calculated using a random effects model with the inverse variance method. Results Thirty-seven trials with a total of 5754 patients met the inclusion criteria. The included studies varied strongly regarding patients, interventions, outcome measures, methodological quality and effect sizes reported. Among the 32 trials reporting a continuous outcome measure, the random effects standardized mean difference between sham acupuncture and no acupuncture groups was -0.45 (95% confidence interval, -0.57, -0.34; I2 = 54%; Egger's test for funnel plot asymmetry, P = 0.25). Trials with larger effects of sham over no acupuncture reported smaller effects of acupuncture over sham intervention than trials with smaller nonspecific effects (β = -0.39, P = 0.029). Conclusions Sham acupuncture interventions are often associated with moderately large nonspecific effects which could make it difficult to detect small additional specific effects. Compared to inert placebo interventions, effects associated with sham acupuncture might be larger, which would have considerable implications for the design and interpretation of clinical trials. PMID:21092261
Sherwood, David E.; Enebo, Brian A.
The control of human limb movement has been the focus of research for more than a century. A major issue to emerge from this work is the manner in which the central nervous system regulates electromyographic (EMG) activity to produce movements that differ in distance, velocity, and movement time. However, the different methods of analysis often…
Berkelmans, Gijs H K; Wilts, Bas J W; Kouwenhoven, Ewout A; Kumagai, Koshi; Nilsson, Magnus; Weijs, Teus J; Nieuwenhuijzen, Grard A P; van Det, Marc J; Luyer, Misha D P
Introduction Early start of an oral diet is safe and beneficial in most types of gastrointestinal surgery and is a crucial part of fast track or enhanced recovery protocols. However, the feasibility and safety of oral intake directly following oesophagectomy remain unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of early versus delayed start of oral intake on postoperative recovery following oesophagectomy. Methods and analysis This is an open-label multicentre randomised controlled trial. Patients undergoing elective minimally invasive or hybrid oesophagectomy for cancer are eligible. Further inclusion criteria are intrathoracic anastomosis, written informed consent and age 18 years or older. Inability for oral intake, inability to place a feeding jejunostomy, inability to provide written consent, swallowing disorder, achalasia, Karnofsky Performance Status <80 and malnutrition are exclusion criteria. Patients will be randomised using online randomisation software. The intervention group (direct oral feeding) will receive a liquid oral diet for 2 weeks with gradually expanding daily maximums. The control group (delayed oral feeding) will receive enteral feeding via a jejunostomy during 5 days and then start the same liquid oral diet. The primary outcome measure is functional recovery. Secondary outcome measures are 30-day surgical complications; nutritional status; need for artificial nutrition; need for additional interventions; health-related quality of life. We aim to recruit 148 patients. Statistical analysis will be performed according to an intention to treat principle. Results are presented as risk ratios with corresponding 95% CIs. A two-tailed p<0.05 is considered statistically significant. Ethics and dissemination Our study protocol has received ethical approval from the Medical research Ethics Committees United (MEC-U). This study is conducted according to the principles of Good Clinical Practice. Verbal and written informed consent is
Wade, Tracey; George, Wing Man; Atkinson, Melissa
The authors examined the relative effectiveness of 3 different approaches to the experience of body dissatisfaction compared to a control and ruminative attention control condition, with respect to increasing weight and appearance satisfaction. One hundred female undergraduates (mean age = 24.38, SD = 9.39) underwent a body dissatisfaction…
Katz, M.; Adar Levine, A.; Kol-Degani, H.; Kav-Venaki, L.
Objective: Evaluation of the efficacy of a patented, compound herbal preparation (CHP) in improving attention, cognition, and impulse control in children with ADHD. Method: Design: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Setting: University-affiliated tertiary medical center. Participants: 120 children newly diagnosed with ADHD,…
Carter, Alice S.; Messinger, Daniel S.; Stone, Wendy L.; Celimli, Seniz; Nahmias, Allison S.; Yoder, Paul
Background: This randomized controlled trial compared Hanen's "More than Words" (HMTW), a parent-implemented intervention, to a "business as usual" control group. Methods: Sixty-two children (51 boys and 11 girls; M age = 20 months; SD = 2.6) who met criteria for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their parents participated in the study. The HMTW…
Leung, Cynthia; Tsang, Sandra; Sin, Tammy C. S.; Choi, Siu-yan
Objective: This study aimed to examine the efficacy of the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in Hong Kong Chinese families, using randomized controlled trial design. Methods: The participants included 111 Hong Kong Chinese parents with children aged 2--7 years old, who were randomized into the intervention group (n = 54) and control group (n…
Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.; Larsen, Ross A. A.; Baroody, Alison E.; Curby, Timothy W.; Ko, Michelle; Thomas, Julia B.; Merritt, Eileen G.; Abry, Tashia; DeCoster, Jamie
This randomized controlled field trial examined the efficacy of the Responsive Classroom (RC) approach on student achievement. Schools (n = 24) were randomized into intervention and control conditions; 2,904 children were studied from end of second to fifth grade. Students at schools assigned to the RC condition did not outperform students at…
Schweig, Jonathan David; Pane, John F.
Demands for scientific knowledge of what works in educational policy and practice has driven interest in quantitative investigations of educational outcomes, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have proliferated under these conditions. In educational settings, even when individuals are randomized, both experimental and control students are…
Sukhdolsky, Denis G.; Vitulano, Lawrence A.; Carroll, Deirdre H.; McGuire, Joseph; Leckman, James F.; Scahill, Lawrence
A randomized trial to examine the efficacy of anger control training for treating adolescents with Tourette's syndrome and disruptive behavior reveals that those administered with the anger control training showed a decrease in their Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale score by 52 percent as compared with a decrease of 11 percent in the treatment as…
Lichtenstein, Michael J.; Pruski, Linda A.; Marshall, Carolyn E.; Blalock, Cheryl L.; Liu, Yan; Plaetke, Rosemarie
This study tested the effectiveness of 2 dissemination methods for the Positively Aging teaching materials. In San Antonio, Texas, 4 middle schools participated in a 3-year controlled trial of dissemination via distance electronic support alone (control) compared to distance electronic support plus in-school support from study staff…
Watson, Hunna J.; Rees, Clare S.
Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis on randomized, controlled treatment trials of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Method: Studies were included if they employed randomized, controlled methodology and treated young people (19 years or under) with OCD. A comprehensive literature search identified 13 RCTs containing 10…
Brown, Eric C.; Low, Sabina; Smith, Brian H.; Haggerty, Kevin P.
This study reports the outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program conducted in 33 California elementary schools. Schools were matched on school demographic characteristics and assigned randomly to intervention or waitlisted control conditions. Outcome measures were obtained from (a) all school…
Barron, Ian G.; Abdallah, Ghassan; Smith, Patrick
The current study aimed to assess the Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) trauma recovery program within the context of ongoing violence. Utilizing a randomized controlled trial, 11-14-year-old students in Nablus, Palestine, were allocated by class to intervention or wait-list control conditions. Standardized measures assessed trauma exposure,…
He, Jie; Chen, Fangyao; Chen, Rongping; Chen, Hong
Background Previous clinical trials indicate that probiotic consumption may improve blood glucose control, however, results from randomized trials on glycemic control have been inconsistent. Objective To investigate the effects of probiotics on glycemic control in a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Data Sources PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Clinicaltrial.gov through October 2014. Data Extraction and Synthesis Two independent reviewers extracted relevant data and assessed study quality and risk of bias. Data were pooled using a random-effects model and expressed as mean differences (MD) with 95% CI. Heterogeneity was assessed (Cochran Q-statistic) and quantified (I2). Results Seventeen randomized controlled trials were included, in which 17 fasting blood glucose (n = 1105), 11 fasting plasma insulin (n = 788), 8 homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (n = 635) comparisons were reported. Probiotic consumption, compared with placebo, significantly reduced fasting glucose (MD = -0.31 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.56, 0.06; p = 0.02), fasting plasma insulin (MD = -1.29 μU/mL; 95% CI -2.17, -0.41; p = 0.004), and HOMA-IR (MD = 0.48; 95% CI -0.83, -0.13; p = 0.007). Conclusions Probiotic consumption may improve glycemic control modestly. Modification of gut microbiota by probiotic supplementation may be a method for preventing and control hyperglycemia in clinical practice. PMID:26161741
Cao, Huijuan; Wang, Yuyi; Chang, Dennis; Zhou, Li; Liu, Jianping
Background Vascular mild cognitive impairment (VMCI) is the most common type of vascular cognitive impairment induced by cerebrovascular disease. No effective medicines are currently available for VMCI. Objective To assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for VMCI. Methods Seven electronic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials which investigated the effects of acupuncture compared with no treatment, placebo or conventional therapies on cognitive function or other clinical outcomes in patients with VMCI. The quality of the trials selected was evaluated according to the ‘risk of bias’ assessment provided by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. RevMan V.5.1 software was employed for data analysis. Results Twelve trials with 691 participants were included. The methodological quality of all included trials was unclear and/or they had a high risk of bias. Meta-analysis showed acupuncture in conjunction with other therapies could significantly improve Mini-Mental State Examination scores (mean difference 1.99, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.88, random model, p<0.0001, 6 trials). No included trials mentioned any adverse events of the treatment. Conclusions The current clinical evidence is not of sufficient quality for wider application of acupuncture to be recommended for the treatment of VMCI, and further large, rigorously designed trials are warranted. PMID:24123487
Lewis, A Martyn; Sim, Julius; Mallen, Christian D; Mason, Elizabeth E; Hay, Elaine M; van der Windt, Daniëlle A
Objective To investigate the effectiveness of supplementing information and advice on analgesia and exercise from a general practitioner with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as a non-drug form of analgesia to reduce pain intensity in patients with tennis elbow. Design Pragmatic randomised controlled trial in primary care. Setting and 38 general practices in the West Midlands, UK. Participants 241 adults consulting with a first or new (no consultation in previous six months) clinical diagnosis of tennis elbow. Interventions Participants were randomly allocated to either primary care management alone, consisting of a consultation with a general practitioner followed by information and advice on exercises, or primary care management plus TENS to be used once a day for 45 minutes over six weeks (or until symptom resolution) for pain relief. Outcome measures The primary outcome was self reported intensity of elbow pain (0-10 rating scale) at six weeks. Primary and secondary outcomes were measured at baseline and at six weeks, six months, and 12 months by postal questionnaire. Analysis was by intention to treat. Results 121 participants were randomised to primary care management plus TENS and 120 to primary care management only (first episode, n=197 (82%); duration <1-3 months, n=138 (57%)). Adherence to exercise and TENS recommendations reported at six weeks was low; only 42 participants in the primary care management plus TENS group met a priori defined adherence criteria. Both intervention groups showed large improvements in pain and secondary outcomes, especially during the first six weeks of follow-up. However, no clinically or statistically significant differences were seen between groups at any follow-up timepoint. At the primary endpoint (six weeks), the between group difference in improvement of pain was −0.33 (95% confidence interval −0.96 to 0.31; P=0.31) in favour of the primary care management only group, with adjustment for age, sex
It is well known that the outcome of an intervention is affected both by the inherent effects of the intervention and the patient's expectations. For this reason in comparative clinical trials an effort is made to conceal the nature of the administered intervention from the participants in the trial i.e. to blind the trial. Yet, in practice perfect blinding is impossible to ensure or even verify post hoc. The current clinical standard is to follow up the trial with an auxiliary questionnaire, which allows trial participants to express in closed form their belief concerning the intervention, i.e. trial group assignment (treatment or control). Auxiliary questionnaire responses are then used to compute the extent of blinding in the trial in the form of a blinding index. If the estimated extent of blinding exceeds a particular threshold the trial is deemed sufficiently blinded; otherwise, the strength of evidence of the trial is brought into question. This may necessitate that the trial is repeated. In this paper we make several contributions. Firstly, we identify a series of problems of the aforesaid clinical practice and discuss them in context of the most commonly used blinding indexes. Secondly, we formulate a novel approach for handling imperfectly blinded trials. We adopt a feedback questionnaire of the same form as that which is currently in use, but interpret the collected data using a novel statistical method, significantly different from that proposed in the previous work. Unlike the previously proposed approaches, our method is void of any ad hoc free parameters and robust to small changes in the participants' feedback responses. Our method also does not discard any data and is not predicated on any strong assumptions used to interpret participants' feedback. The key idea behind the present method is that it is meaningful to compare only the corresponding treatment and control participant sub-groups, that is, sub-groups matched by their auxiliary responses
Mathie, Robert T; Clausen, Jürgen
A systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of veterinary homeopathy has not previously been undertaken. Using Cochrane methods, this review aims to assess risk of bias and to quantify the effect size of homeopathic intervention compared with placebo for each eligible peer-reviewed trial. Judgement in seven assessment domains enabled a trial's risk of bias to be designated as low, unclear or high. A trial was judged to comprise reliable evidence if its risk of bias was low or was unclear in specified domains. A trial was considered to be free of vested interest if it was not funded by a homeopathic pharmacy. The 18 eligible RCTs were disparate in nature, representing four species and 11 different medical conditions. Reliable evidence, free from vested interest, was identified in two trials: homeopathic Coli had a prophylactic effect on porcine diarrhoea (odds ratio 3.89, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI], 1.19 to 12.68, P=0.02); and individualised homeopathic treatment did not have a more beneficial effect on bovine mastitis than placebo intervention (standardised mean difference -0.31, 95 per cent CI, -0.97 to 0.34, P=0.35). Mixed findings from the only two placebo-controlled RCTs that had suitably reliable evidence precluded generalisable conclusions about the efficacy of any particular homeopathic medicine or the impact of individualised homeopathic intervention on any given medical condition in animals.
Farran, Carol J; Etkin, Caryn D; McCann, Judith J; Paun, Olimpia; Eisenstein, Amy R; Wilbur, Joellen
This article describes how a family caregiver lifestyle physical activity clinical trial uses research technology to enhance quality control and treatment fidelity. This trial uses a range of Internet, Blaise(®) Windows-based software and Echo Server technologies to support quality control issues, such as data collection, data entry, and study management advocated by the clinical trials literature, and to ensure treatment fidelity concerning intervention implementation (i.e., design, training, delivery, receipt, and enactment) as proposed by the National Institutes of Health Behavior Change Consortium. All research staff are trained to use these technologies. Strengths of this technological approach to support quality control and treatment fidelity include the comprehensive plan, involvement of all staff, and ability to maintain accurate and timely data. Limitations include the upfront time and costs for developing and testing these technological methods, and having support staff readily available to address technological issues if they occur.
Creinin, Mitchell D.; Schlaff, William; Archer, David F.; Wan, Livia; Frezieres, Ron; Thomas, Michael; Rosenberg, Michael; Higgins, James
Objective Compare the efficacy and adverse effects of CDB-2914, a new progesterone receptor modulator, to levonorgestrel for emergency contraception. Methods We performed a randomized, double-blinded noninferiority trial, enrolling healthy women seeking emergency contraception within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of 50 mg of CDB-2914, plus a placebo 12 hours later or two doses of 0.75 mg of levonorgestrel taken 12 hours apart. Follow-up was scheduled 5 to 7 days after the expected onset of the next menstrual period. Posttreatment pregnancy was established by a positive urine test at follow-up and confirmed by quantitative serum β-hCG. Daily diaries were used from the time of emergency contraception use until next menses to record adverse effects and sexual activity. Results Product efficacy was evaluable in 775 of CDB-2914 users and 774 of levonorgestrel users. Pregnancies occurred in 7 (0.9%, 95% confidence interval 0.2–1.6%) and 13 (1.7%, 95% confidence interval 0.8–2.6%) women, respectively. Based on the estimated cycle day of unprotected intercourse, 85% and 69% of anticipated pregnancies, respectively, were averted. Nausea was reported by a somewhat greater percentage of CDB-2914 than levonorgestrel users (29% compared with 24%, P=.03), but the distribution of other adverse effects was similar in both groups. Women in both groups experienced considerable variation in menstrual cycle length as compared with their reported individual normal cycle lengths. Conclusion CDB-2914 is at least as effective as levonorgestrel in preventing pregnancies after unprotected intercourse and has a similar side effect profile. PMID:17077229
Tsui, Ilene K; Dodson, William C; Kunselman, Allen R; Kuang, Hongying; Han, Feng-Juan; Legro, Richard S; Wu, Xiao-Ke
Objectives To assess whether a journal club model could improve comprehension and written and spoken medical English in a population of Chinese medical professionals. Setting and participants The study population consisted of 52 medical professionals who were residents or postgraduate master or PhD students in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, China. Intervention After a three-part baseline examination to assess medical English comprehension, participants were randomised to either (1) an intensive journal club treatment arm or (2) a self-study group. At the conclusion of the 8-week intervention participants (n=52) were re-tested with new questions. Outcome measures The primary outcome was the change in score on a multiple choice examination. Secondary outcomes included change in scores on written and oral examinations which were modelled on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Results Both groups had improved scores on the multiple choice examination without a statistically significant difference between them (90% power). However, there was a statistically significant difference between the groups in mean improvement in scores for both written (95% CI 1.1 to 5.0; p=0.003) and spoken English (95% CI 0.06 to 3.7; p=0.04) favouring the journal club intervention. Conclusions Interacting with colleagues and an English-speaking facilitator in a journal club improved both written and spoken medical English in Chinese medical professionals. Journal clubs may be suitable for use as a self-sustainable teaching model to improve fluency in medical English in foreign medical professionals. Trial registration number NCT01844609. PMID:26823180
Flaherty, Keith T; Hennig, Michael; Lee, Sandra J; Ascierto, Paolo A; Dummer, Reinhard; Eggermont, Alexander M M; Hauschild, Axel; Kefford, Richard; Kirkwood, John M; Long, Georgina V; Lorigan, Paul; Mackensen, Andreas; McArthur, Grant; O'Day, Steven; Patel, Poulam M; Robert, Caroline; Schadendorf, Dirk
Summary Background Recent phase 3 trials have shown an overall survival benefit in metastatic melanoma. We aimed to assess whether progression-free survival (PFS) could be regarded as a reliable surrogate for overall survival through a meta-analysis of randomised trials. Methods We systematically reviewed randomised trials comparing treatment regimens in metastatic melanoma that included dacarbazine as the control arm, and which reported both PFS and overall survival with a standard hazard ratio (HR). We correlated HRs for overall survival and PFS, weighted by sample size or by precision of the HR estimate, assuming fixed and random effects. We did sensitivity analyses according to presence of crossover, trial size, and dacarbazine dose. Findings After screening 1649 reports and meeting abstracts published before Sept 8, 2013, we identified 12 eligible randomised trials that enrolled 4416 patients with metastatic melanoma. Irrespective of weighting strategy, we noted a strong correlation between the treatment effects for PFS and overall survival, which seemed independent of treatment type. Pearson correlation coefficients were 0.71 (95% CI 0.29–0.90) with a random-effects assumption, 0.85 (0.59–0.95) with a fixed-effects assumption, and 0.89 (0.68–0.97) with sample-size weighting. For nine trials without crossover, the correlation coefficient was 0.96 (0.81–0.99), which decreased to 0.93 (0.74–0.98) when two additional trials with less than 50% crossover were included. Inclusion of mature follow-up data after at least 50% crossover (in vemurafenib and dabrafenib phase 3 trials) weakened the PFS to overall survival correlation (0.55, 0.03–0.84). Inclusion of trials with no or little crossover with the random-effects assumption yielded a conservative statement of the PFS to overall survival correlation of 0.85 (0.51–0.96). Interpretation PFS can be regarded as a robust surrogate for overall survival in dacarbazine-controlled randomised trials of
Govan, L; Ades, A E; Weir, C J; Welton, N J; Langhorne, P
Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials based on aggregated data is vulnerable to ecological bias if trial results are pooled over covariates that influence the outcome variable, even when the covariate does not modify the treatment effect, or is not associated with the treatment. This paper shows how, when trial results are aggregated over different levels of covariates, the within-study covariate distribution, and the effects of both covariates and treatments can be simultaneously estimated, and ecological bias reduced. Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo methods are used. The method is applied to a mixed treatment comparison evidence synthesis of six alternative approaches to post-stroke inpatient care. Results are compared with a model using only the stratified covariate data available, where each stratum is treated as a separate trial, and a model using fully aggregated data, where no covariate data are used. PMID:20191599
Bonnal, A; Dehon, A; Nagot, N; Macioce, V; Nogue, E; Morau, E
We assessed the effectiveness of early patient-controlled oral analgesia compared with parenteral analgesia in a randomised controlled non-inferiority trial of women undergoing elective caesarean section under regional anaesthesia. Seventy-seven women received multimodal paracetamol, ketoprofen and morphine analgesia. The woman having patient-controlled oral analgesia were administered four pillboxes on the postnatal ward containing tablets and instructions for self-medication, the first at 7 h after the spinal injection and then three more at 12-hourly intervals. Pain at rest and on movement was evaluated using an 11-point verbal rating scale at 2 h and then at 6-hourly intervals for 48 h. The pre-defined non-inferiority limit for the difference in mean pain scores (patient-controlled oral analgesia minus parenteral) was one. The one-sided 95% CI of the difference in mean pain scores was significantly lower than one at all time-points at rest and on movement, demonstrating non-inferiority of patient-controlled oral analgesia. More women used morphine in the patient-controlled oral analgesia group (22 (58%)) than in the parenteral group (9 (23%); p = 0.002). The median (IQR [range]) number of morphine doses in the patient-controlled oral analgesia group was 2 (1-3 [1-7]) compared with 1 (1-1 [1-2]); p = 0.006) in the parenteral group. Minor drug errors or omissions were identified in five (13%) women receiving patient-controlled oral analgesia. Pruritus was more frequent in the patient-controlled oral analgesia group (14 (37%) vs 6 (15%) respectively; p = 0.03), but no differences were noted for other adverse events and maternal satisfaction. After elective caesarean section, early patient-controlled oral analgesia is non-inferior to standard parenteral analgesia for pain management, and can be one of the steps of an enhanced recovery process. PMID:26931110
Background Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disease mediated by an array of inflammatory cells and mediators, but above all, CD8+ T-lymphocytes, macrophages and neutrophils are important players in disease pathogenesis. Roflumilast, a first-in-class, potent and selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor, reduces the rate of exacerbations in patients with a high risk of future exacerbations and has been shown to reduce inflammatory cells and mediators in induced sputum, a surrogate of airway inflammation. However, these anti-inflammatory effects are yet to be confirmed in another robust study directly assessing inflammatory markers in bronchial sub-mucosa. Methods/Design An international, 16-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study investigating the effects of roflumilast 500 μg once-daily versus placebo on inflammatory parameters in bronchial biopsy tissue specimens, sputum and blood serum. One hundred and fifty patients with COPD and chronic bronchitis for at least 12 months will be recruited into the study and randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either roflumilast or placebo. The primary endpoint will be the number of CD8+ cells (cell counts per mm2) in bronchial biopsy tissue specimens (sub-mucosa) and the key secondary endpoint will be the number of CD68+ cells (cell counts per mm2), assessed by indirect immunohistochemistry. Discussion It is hypothesized that treatment with roflumilast reduces the characteristic inflammation found in the airways of patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, compared with placebo. The design of the present study has built on the work of previous bronchial biopsy studies available in the literature. It is hoped that it will reveal the cellular mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of roflumilast and identify potentially important biomarkers and other surrogate endpoints in patients with COPD. The design and rationale for this trial are
The Benchmarking Controlled Trial (BCT) is a novel concept which covers all observational studies aiming to assess effectiveness. BCTs provide evidence of the comparative effectiveness between health service providers, and of effectiveness due to particular features of the health and social care systems. BCTs complement randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as the sources of evidence on effectiveness. This paper presents a definition of the BCT; compares the position of BCTs in assessing effectiveness with that of RCTs; presents a checklist for assessing methodological validity of a BCT; and pilot-tests the checklist with BCTs published recently in the leading medical journals.
Franklin, Martin E.; Edson, Aubrey L.; Ledley, Deborah A.; Cahill, Shawn P.
Objective: To examine the efficacy and durability of a behavioral therapy (BT) protocol for pediatric TTM compared with a minimal attention control (MAC) condition. It was hypothesized that the BT condition would be superior to MAC at the end of acute treatment, and would also demonstrate durability of gains through the maintenance treatment…
Effective weed control is needed for successful melon production. Synthetic herbicides that are available for non-organic melon production cannot be used in organic production. In addition to organic producers' needs, herbicide use is not always practical in many garden situations, whether organic o...
Wang, J; Jian, F; Chen, J; Ye, N S; Huang, Y H; Wang, S; Huang, R H; Pei, J; Liu, P; Zhang, L; Zhao, Z H; Chen, Q M; Lai, W L; Lin, Y F
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for patients who experienced pain during orthodontic treatment. The baseline characteristics were assessed via questionnaires and oral examinations. Four hundred and fifty eligible individuals were recruited and randomized by computer-generated block randomization into three groups: cognitive behavioral therapy intervention (n = 150), ibuprofen intervention (n = 150), and no intervention (control; n = 150). Primary outcomes were the change from baseline in pain intensity measured with 100-mm Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores at 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, and 30 days after initial archwire placement. Outcomes assessment was blinded and followed the intention-to-treat principle. One hundred forty-three (95.30%), 145 (96.70%), and 141 (94.00%) individuals in the cognitive behavioral therapy, the ibuprofen, and the control groups, respectively, completed the one-month follow-up evaluations. Those in the cognitive behavioral therapy group showed a greater decrease in mean VAS scores than did those in the control group over the previous five time-points (p < 0.001). Cognitive behavioral therapy was shown to be effective in pain control during the initial stage of orthodontic treatment. The study registration number was ChiCTR-TRC-00000556.
James-Burdumy, Susanne; Bleeker, Martha; Beyler, Nicholas; London, Rebecca A.; Westrich, Lisa; Stokes-Guinan, Katie; Castrechini, Sebastian
Most school principals believe recess has a positive impact on the development of students' social skills and academic achievement. Research also suggests that physical activity and play during recess may be linked to improvements in both academic and prosocial behaviors (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Recess, however, has been…
Viera, Anthony J; Bangdiwala, Shrikant I
Randomization in randomized controlled trials involves more than generation of a random sequence by which to assign subjects. For randomization to be successfully implemented, the randomization sequence must be adequately protected (concealed) so that investigators, involved health care providers, and subjects are not aware of the upcoming assignment. The absence of adequate allocation concealment can lead to selection bias, one of the very problems that randomization was supposed to eliminate. Authors of reports of randomized trials should provide enough details on how allocation concealment was achieved so the reader can determine the likelihood of success. Fortunately, a plan of allocation concealment can always be incorporated into the design of a randomized trial. Certain methods minimize the risk of concealment failing more than others. Keeping knowledge of subjects' assignment after allocation from subjects, investigators/health care providers, or those assessing outcomes is referred to as masking (also known as blinding). The goal of masking is to prevent ascertainment bias. In contrast to allocation concealment, masking cannot always be incorporated into a randomized controlled trial. Both allocation concealment and masking add to the elimination of bias in randomized controlled trials.
Ferreira, Giovanni E.; Barreto, Rodrigo G. P.; Robinson, Caroline C.; Plentz, Rodrigo D. M.; Silva, Marcelo F.
ABSTRACT Objectives To systematically review randomized controlled trials that assessed the effects of Global Postural Reeducation (GPR) on patient-reported outcomes in conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Method An electronic search of MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, and SciELO was performed from their inception to June 2015. Randomized controlled trials that analyzed pain and patient-reported outcomes were included in this review. The Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias Tool was used to evaluate risk of bias, and the quality of evidence was rated following the GRADE approach. There were no language restrictions. Results Eleven trials were included totaling 383 patients. Overall, the trials had high risk of bias. GPR was superior to no treatment but not to other forms of treatment for pain and disability. No placebo-controlled trials were found. Conclusion GPR is not superior to other treatments; however, it is superior to no treatment. Due to the lack of studies, it is unknown if GPR is better than placebo. The quality of the available evidence ranges from low to very low, therefore future studies may change the effect estimates of GPR in musculoskeletal conditions. PMID:27437710
Treweek, Shaun; Lockhart, Pauline; Pitkethly, Marie; Cook, Jonathan A; Kjeldstrøm, Monica; Johansen, Marit; Taskila, Taina K; Sullivan, Frank M; Wilson, Sue; Jackson, Catherine; Jones, Ritu; Mitchell, Elizabeth D
This review is an abridged version of a Cochrane Review previously published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 4, Art. No.: MR000013 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.MR000013.pub5 (see www.thecochranelibrary.com for information). Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to feedback, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the review. Objective To identify interventions designed to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials, and to quantify their effect on trial participation. Design Systematic review. Data sources The Cochrane Methodology Review Group Specialised Register in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, ERIC, Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, C2-SPECTR, the National Research Register and PubMed. Most searches were undertaken up to 2010; no language restrictions were applied. Study selection Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials, including those recruiting to hypothetical studies. Studies on retention strategies, examining ways to increase questionnaire response or evaluating the use of incentives for clinicians were excluded. The study population included any potential trial participant (eg, patient, clinician and member of the public), or individual or group of individuals responsible for trial recruitment (eg, clinicians, researchers and recruitment sites). Two authors independently screened identified studies for eligibility. Results 45 trials with over 43 000 participants were included. Some interventions were effective in increasing recruitment: telephone reminders to non-respondents (risk ratio (RR) 1.66, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.46; two studies, 1058 participants), use of opt-out rather than opt-in procedures for contacting potential participants (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.84; one study, 152 participants) and open designs where participants know which treatment they are receiving in the trial (RR 1.22, 95
Objective To determine whether collaborative requesting increases consent for organ donation from the relatives of patients declared dead by criteria for brain stem death. Design Unblinded multicentre randomised controlled trial using a sequential design. Centralised 24 hour telephone randomisation based on randomised permuted blocks of 10. Setting 79 general, neuroscience, and paediatric intensive care units in the United Kingdom. Participants 201 relatives of patients meeting criteria for brain stem death. Relatives were blind to the intervention and to the trial; all other participants were necessarily unblinded. Interventions Collaborative requesting for consent for organ donation by the potential donor’s clinician and a donor transplant coordinator (organ procurement officer) compared with routine requesting by the clinical team alone. Main outcome measure Proportion of relatives consenting to organ donation. Results 101 relatives were randomised to routine requesting and 100 to collaborative requesting. All were analysed on an intention to treat basis. In the routine requesting group, 62 relatives consented to organ donation. In the collaborative requesting group, 57 relatives consented. After correction for the ethnicity, age, and sex of the potential donors the risk adjusted ratio of the odds of consent in the collaborative requesting group relative to the routine group was 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.43 to 1.53), with a P value of 0.49 adjusted for interim analysis and trial over-running. The conversion rate (donors with consent from whom any organs were retrieved) was 92% (57/62) in the routine requesting group and 79% (45/57) in the collaborative requesting group (P=0.043). There were 140 approaches to relatives in the per protocol analysis, leading to 60.3% (44/73) consent after routine and 67.2% (45/67) after collaborative requesting (risk adjusted odds ratio of consent 1.47, 0.67 to 3.20, P=0.33). Conclusion There is no increase in consent rates
Background Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have a high rate of mortality and specifically an increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Impaired cardiac autonomic tone is associated with elevated risk of SCD. Moreover, patients with ESKD are often vitamin D deficient, which we have shown may be linked to autonomic dysfunction in humans. To date, it is not known whether vitamin D supplementation normalizes cardiac autonomic function in the high-risk ESKD population. The VITamin D supplementation and cardiac Autonomic tone in Hemodialysis (VITAH) randomized trial will determine whether intensive vitamin D supplementation therapies improve cardiac autonomic tone to a greater extent than conventional vitamin D supplementation regimens in ESKD patients requiring chronic hemodialysis. Methods/Design A total of 60 subjects with ESKD requiring thrice weekly chronic hemodialysis will be enrolled in this 2x2 crossover, blinded, randomized controlled trial. Following a 4-week washout period from any prior vitamin D therapy, subjects are randomized 1:1 to intensive versus standard vitamin D therapy for 6 weeks, followed by a 12-week washout period, and finally the remaining treatment arm for 6 weeks. Intensive vitamin D treatment includes alfacalcidiol (activated vitamin D) 0.25mcg orally with each dialysis session combined with ergocalciferol (nutritional vitamin D) 50 000 IU orally once per week and placebo the remaining two dialysis days for 6 weeks. The standard vitamin D treatment includes alfacalcidiol 0.25mcg orally combined with placebo each dialysis session per week for 6 weeks. Cardiac autonomic tone is measured via 24 h Holter monitor assessments on the first dialysis day of the week every 6 weeks throughout the study period. The primary outcome is change in the low frequency: high frequency heart rate variability (HRV) ratio during the first 12 h of the Holter recording at 6 weeks versus baseline. Secondary outcomes include additional
Hunsberger, Sally; Alciati, Marianne H.; Blair, Steven N.; Goodwin, Pamela J.; McTiernan, Anne; Wing, Rena; Schatzkin, Arthur
Substantial observational epidemiological evidence exists that physical activity and weight control are associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Uncertainty remains regarding several aspects of these associations, including the effect of possible confounding factors on these associations. We present the rationale and design for two randomized controlled trials that can help resolve this uncertainty. In a 5-year prevention trial conducted among women at high risk of breast cancer, the primary endpoint would be breast cancer incidence. For a comparable survivorship trial, the primary endpoint would be the disease-free interval and secondary endpoints would be breast cancer recurrence–free interval, second primary breast cancer, and total invasive plus in situ breast cancer. A set of inclusion and exclusion criteria is proposed for both trials. Intervention goals are the same for both trials. Goals for the weight control intervention would be, for women whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than 25 kg/m2, to lose 10% of body weight and, for women whose BMI is less than or equal to 25 kg/m2, to avoid weight gain. The goal for the physical activity intervention would be to achieve and maintain regular participation in a moderate-intensity physical activity program for a total of 150–225 minutes over at least 5 days per week. Sample size calculations are based on alternative assumptions about hazard ratio, adherence, follow-up duration, and power and are presented for the primary prevention and survivorship trials. Although both studies could enhance our understanding of breast cancer etiology and benefit public health, practical considerations, including smaller sample size, ease of recruitment, and reduced likelihood of early termination, favor the survivorship trial at this time. PMID:19401543
Wang, D. David; Sievenpiper, John L.; de Souza, Russell J.; Chiavaroli, Laura; Ha, Vanessa; Cozma, Adrian I.; Mirrahimi, Arash; Yu, Matthew E.; Carleton, Amanda J.; Di Buono, Marco; Jenkins, Alexandra L.; Leiter, Lawrence A.; Wolever, Thomas M. S.; Beyene, Joseph; Kendall, Cyril W. C.; Jenkins, David J. A.
Hyperuricemia is linked to gout and features of metabolic syndrome. There is concern that dietary fructose may increase uric acid concentrations. To assess the effects of fructose on serum uric acid concentrations in people with and without diabetes, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library for relevant trials (through August 19, 2011). Analyses included all controlled feeding trials ≥7 d investigating the effect of fructose feeding on uric acid under isocaloric conditions, where fructose was isocalorically exchanged with other carbohydrate, or hypercaloric conditions, and where a control diet was supplemented with excess energy from fructose. Data were aggregated by the generic inverse variance method using random effects models and expressed as mean difference (MD) with 95% CI. Heterogeneity was assessed by the Q statistic and quantified by I2. A total of 21 trials in 425 participants met the eligibility criteria. Isocaloric exchange of fructose for other carbohydrate did not affect serum uric acid in diabetic and nondiabetic participants [MD = 0.56 μmol/L (95% CI: −6.62, 7.74)], with no evidence of inter-study heterogeneity. Hypercaloric supplementation of control diets with fructose (+35% excess energy) at extreme doses (213–219 g/d) significantly increased serum uric acid compared with the control diets alone in nondiabetic participants [MD = 31.0 mmol/L (95% CI: 15.4, 46.5)] with no evidence of heterogeneity. Confounding from excess energy cannot be ruled out in the hypercaloric trials. These analyses do not support a uric acid-increasing effect of isocaloric fructose intake in nondiabetic and diabetic participants. Hypercaloric fructose intake may, however, increase uric acid concentrations. The effect of the interaction of energy and fructose remains unclear. Larger, well-designed trials of fructose feeding at “real world” doses are needed. PMID:22457397
Tejwani, Prakash Laxmichand; Nerkar, Hrishikesh; Dhar, Anita; Kataria, Kamal; Hari, Smriti; Thulkar, Sanjay; Chumber, Sunil; Kumar, Sunesh; Srivastava, Anurag
Fibroadenoma is a common cause of breast lump in young girls. Nearly 10-15 % of lesions regress spontaneously over the period of 6 to 60 months. The aim of study was to investigate the role of Centchroman in regression of fibroadenoma in comparison to natural observation and to study the association of hormonal receptors with degree of regression. The study was carried out at the outpatient clinic of Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, from November 2004 to November 2007. Patients aged ≤30 years with fibroadenoma were included. Patients with fibroadenoma equal to or larger than 5 cm and with polycystic ovarian disease were excluded. Patients were randomized in two groups. Patients in active therapy arm were prescribed Centchroman 30 mg daily for 12 weeks, and another group was observed without any intervention (control group). Patients were followed at weeks 4, 8, 12, and 24 to assess response to therapy. Twenty-two (31.88 %) fibroadenomas in Centchroman arm disappeared completely as compared to four (7.69 %) in control arm over a period of 6 months. There was a decrease in the volume of fibroadenoma in ten (19.23 %) patients in control arm and 36 (52.17 %) patients in Centchroman arm. Centchroman therapy allowed 31 % fibroadenoma to regress completely with scanty menses or amenorrhea as the only side effect. PMID:26730050
Elfering, Achim; Schade, Volker; Stoecklin, Lukas; Baur, Simone; Burger, Christian; Radlinger, Lorenz
Slip, trip, and fall injuries are frequent among health care workers. Stochastic resonance whole-body vibration training was tested to improve postural control. Participants included 124 employees of a Swiss university hospital. The randomized controlled trial included an experimental group given 8 weeks of training and a control group with no intervention. In both groups, postural control was assessed as mediolateral sway on a force plate before and after the 8-week trial. Mediolateral sway was significantly decreased by stochastic resonance whole-body vibration training in the experimental group but not in the control group that received no training (p < .05). Stochastic resonance whole-body vibration training is an option in the primary prevention of balance-related injury at work.
Ngo, Lynn L.; Ward, Kristy K.; Mody, Sheila K.
Objective To evaluate intramuscular ketorolac compared to placebo saline injection for pain control with intrauterine device (IUD) placement. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial between July 2012 and March 2014. Patients received ketorolac 30mg or placebo saline intramuscular injection 30 minutes prior to IUD placement. The primary outcome was pain with IUD placement on a 10cm visual analog scale (VAS). Sample size was calculated to provide 80% power to show a 2.0cm difference (α=0.05) in the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included pain with study drug injection, speculum insertion, tenaculum placement, uterine sounding, and at 5 and 15 minutes after IUD placement. Results A total of 67 women participated in the study, 33 in the ketorolac arm and 34 in the placebo arm. There were no differences in baseline demographics including age, BMI, and race. There were no differences in median pain scores for IUD placement in the placebo versus ketorolac groups (5.2cm vs 3.6cm, p=0.99). There was a decrease in median pain scores at 5 minutes (2.2cm vs 0.3cm, p=<0.001) and 15 minutes (1.6cm vs 0.1cm, p=<0.001) after IUD placement but no difference for all other time points. Nulliparous participants (n=16, 8 per arm) had a decrease in pain scores with IUD placement (8.1cm vs 5.4cm, p=0.02). In this study, 22% of participants in the placebo group and 18% in the ketorolac group reported injection pain was as painful as IUD placement. Conclusions Ketorolac does not reduce pain with IUD placement but does reduce pain at 5 and 15 minutes after placement. PMID:26241253
Despite the accelerating pace of scientific discovery, the current clinical research enterprise does not sufficiently address pressing clinical questions. Given the constraints on clinical trials, for a majority of clinical questions, the only relevant data available to aid in decision making are based on observation and experience. Our purpose here is 3-fold. First, we describe the classic context of medical research guided by Poppers’ scientific epistemology of “falsificationism.” Second, we discuss challenges and shortcomings of randomized controlled trials and present the potential of observational studies based on big data. Third, we cover several obstacles related to the use of observational (retrospective) data in clinical studies. We conclude that randomized controlled trials are not at risk for extinction, but innovations in statistics, machine learning, and big data analytics may generate a completely new ecosystem for exploration and validation. PMID:27383622
Van Poucke, Sven; Thomeer, Michiel; Heath, John; Vukicevic, Milan
Despite the accelerating pace of scientific discovery, the current clinical research enterprise does not sufficiently address pressing clinical questions. Given the constraints on clinical trials, for a majority of clinical questions, the only relevant data available to aid in decision making are based on observation and experience. Our purpose here is 3-fold. First, we describe the classic context of medical research guided by Poppers' scientific epistemology of "falsificationism." Second, we discuss challenges and shortcomings of randomized controlled trials and present the potential of observational studies based on big data. Third, we cover several obstacles related to the use of observational (retrospective) data in clinical studies. We conclude that randomized controlled trials are not at risk for extinction, but innovations in statistics, machine learning, and big data analytics may generate a completely new ecosystem for exploration and validation.
Van Poucke, Sven; Thomeer, Michiel; Heath, John; Vukicevic, Milan
Despite the accelerating pace of scientific discovery, the current clinical research enterprise does not sufficiently address pressing clinical questions. Given the constraints on clinical trials, for a majority of clinical questions, the only relevant data available to aid in decision making are based on observation and experience. Our purpose here is 3-fold. First, we describe the classic context of medical research guided by Poppers' scientific epistemology of "falsificationism." Second, we discuss challenges and shortcomings of randomized controlled trials and present the potential of observational studies based on big data. Third, we cover several obstacles related to the use of observational (retrospective) data in clinical studies. We conclude that randomized controlled trials are not at risk for extinction, but innovations in statistics, machine learning, and big data analytics may generate a completely new ecosystem for exploration and validation. PMID:27383622
Huang, Haohai; Chen, Guangzhao; Liao, Dan; Zhu, Yongkun; Xue, Xiaoyan
The effects of berries consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors have not been systematically examined. Here, we aimed to conduct a meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis to estimate the effect of berries consumption on CVD risk factors. PubMed, Embase, and CENTRAL were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that regarding the effects of berries consumption in either healthy participants or patients with CVD. Twenty-two eligible RCTs representing 1,251 subjects were enrolled. The pooled result showed that berries consumption significantly lowered the low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol [weighted mean difference (WMD), −0.21 mmol/L; 95% confidence interval (CI), −0.34 to −0.07; P = 0.003], systolic blood pressure (SBP) (WMD, −2.72 mmHg; 95% CI, −5.32 to −0.12; P = 0.04), fasting glucose (WMD, −0.10 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.17 to −0.03; P = 0.004), body mass index (BMI) (WMD, −0.36 kg/m2; 95% CI, −0.54 to −0.18, P < 0.00001), Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (WMD, −0.20%; 95% CI, −0.39 to −0.01; P = 0.04) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (WMD, −0.99 ρg/mL; 95% CI, −1.96 to −0.02; P = 0.04). However, no significant changes were seen in other markers. The current evidence suggests that berries consumption might be utilized as a possible new effective and safe supplementary option to better prevent and control CVD in humans. PMID:27006201
Background Despite increased investment in its recognition and treatment, depression remains a substantial health and economic burden worldwide. Current treatment strategies generally focus on biological and psychological pathways, largely neglecting the role of lifestyle. There is emerging evidence to suggest that diet and nutrition play an important role in the risk, and the genesis, of depression. However, there are limited data regarding the therapeutic impact of dietary changes on existing mental illness. Using a randomised controlled trial design, we aim to investigate the efficacy and cost-efficacy of a dietary program for the treatment of Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). Methods/Design One hundred and seventy six eligible participants suffering from current MDE are being randomised into a dietary intervention group or a social support group. Depression status is assessed using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Non Patient Edition) (SCID-I/NP). The intervention consists of 7 individual nutrition consulting sessions (of approximately 60 minutes), delivered by an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). Sessions commence within one week of baseline assessment. The intervention focuses on advocating a healthy diet based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. The control condition comprises a befriending protocol using the same visit schedule and length as the diet intervention. The study is being conducted at two locations in Victoria, Australia (a metropolitan and regional centre). Data collection occurs at baseline (pre-intervention), 3-months (post-intervention) and 6– months. The primary endpoint is MADRS scores at 3 months. A cost consequences analysis will determine the economic value of the intervention. Discussion If efficacious, this program could provide an alternative or adjunct treatment
Ginsberg, Henry N; Bonds, Denise E; Lovato, Laura C; Crouse, John R; Elam, Marshall B; Linz, Peter E; O'connor, Patrick J; Leiter, Lawrence A; Weiss, Daniel; Lipkin, Edward; Fleg, Jerome L
The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) lipid trial aims to test whether a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) plus a fibrate is more efficacious in reducing cardiovascular events than a statin plus placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with defined glycemic control. This is a blinded component in a 5,518-patient subset of the ACCORD cohort. These participants were randomized to either be (1) treated with simvastatin (titrated to 40 mg/day if necessary to achieve a goal low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol level of <2.59 mmol/L [100 mg/dL]) plus placebo or (2) treated to the same goal LDL cholesterol level with the statin plus active fenofibrate 160 mg/day or its bioequivalent (or 54 mg/day if the estimated glomerular filtration rate ranges from 30 to <50 mL/min per 1.73 m2). Setting an upper limit of LDL cholesterol qualifying for randomization excluded patients who would not likely achieve the LDL cholesterol goal. Recruitment for ACCORD began in January 2001, and follow-up is scheduled to end in June 2009. Since recruitment began, several clinical trials and consensus statements have been published that led to changes in the details of the lipid treatment algorithm and protocol. This report describes the design of the lipid protocol and modifications to the protocol during the course of the study in response to and in anticipation of these developments. The current protocol is designed to provide an ethically justifiable test of combined statin plus fibrate treatment consistent with the highest level of safety and lipid treatment standards of care.
Day, Ed; Strang, John
Opioid detoxification is not an effective stand-alone treatment for heroin dependence but is nevertheless an essential step in the path to recovery. There has been relatively little previous controlled research on the impact of treatment setting on the likelihood of successful completion of detoxification. In this study, 68 opioid-dependent patients receiving community treatment (predominantly with methadone) and requesting detoxification were randomly assigned to an inpatient versus outpatient setting. Both groups received the same medication (lofexidine), and the primary outcome measure was being opioid-free at detoxification completion. More inpatients (n = 18, 51.4%) than outpatients (n = 12, 36.4%) completed detoxification, but this difference was not statistically significant (χ(2) = 1.56, p = .21). However, the outpatient group received a significantly longer period of medication, and when the length of detoxification was controlled for, the results favored the inpatient setting (Exp(B) = 13.9, 95% confidence interval = 2.6-75.5, p = .002). Only 11 (16%) participants were opioid-free at the 1-month follow-up and 8 at the 6-month follow-up, with no between-group difference. Inpatient and outpatient opioid detoxification settings were not significantly different in completion or follow-up abstinence rates, but aspects of the study design may have favored the outpatient setting. Future studies should test patient characteristics that predict better outcomes in each setting.
Benjamin, Brian J.; Sesak, John R.
New results concerning optimal design with accelerometers are presented. These results show that the designer must be concerned with the stability properties of two Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) compensators, one of which does not explicitly appear in the closed-loop system dynamics. The new concepts of virtual and implemented compensators are introduced to cope with these subtleties. The virtual compensator appears in the closed-loop system dynamics and the implemented compensator appears in control electronics. The stability of one compensator does not guarantee the stability of the other. For strongly stable (robust) systems, both compensators should be stable. The presence of controlled and uncontrolled modes in the system results in two additional forms of the compensator with corresponding terms that are of like form, but opposite sign, making simultaneous stabilization of both the virtual and implemented compensator difficult. A new design algorithm termed sensor augmentation is developed that aids stabilization of these compensator forms by incorporating a static augmentation term associated with the uncontrolled modes in the design process.
Li, Xun; Wang, Yuyi; Chen, Shiuan; Liu, Jian-ping
Background Prostate cancer is the most common malignant tumor associated with male reproductive system. Objective The existing eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were critically appraised for the safety and effectiveness of CHM for prostate cancer. Methods A literature search was conducted by using PubMed, CENTRAL, CNKI, CBM, VIP and Wanfang databases until August 2015. RCTs of CHM or CHM plus conventional medicine for prostate cancer patients were included. The primary outcomes appraised were survival time, time to progression and quality of life. The risk of bias assessment according to the Cochrane Handbook was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the included trials. Revman 5.3 software was used for data analyses. Risk ratio and mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) were used as effect measures. Meta-analysis was to be used if sufficient trials without obvious clinical or statistical heterogeneity were available. Results A total of 17 RCTs involving 1224 participants were analyzed. One trial was about CHM comparing to no treatment. The remaining 16 trials used CHMs as adjunctive treatment for endocrine therapy. Due to the poor quality of methodologies of most trials, only limited evidence showed that a combination of CHM and endocrine therapy might be more effective in restraining the development of the disease (MD 10.37 months, 95%CI 9.10 to 11.63 months), increasing patients’ survival time (7–15 months) or improving patients’ performance status, when compared to endocrine therapy alone (Karnofsky performance scale average changed 15 scores between groups). No severe adverse event was reported related to CHM. Conclusion Due to the insufficient quality of trials that were analyzed, it is not appropriate to recommend any kind of CHMs in treating prostate cancer at the present time. Well-designed trials with high methodological quality are needed to validate the effect of CHMs for patients with prostate cancer. PMID
Kennedy-Martin, Tessa; Curtis, Sarah; Faries, Douglas; Robinson, Susan; Johnston, Joseph
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are conducted under idealized and rigorously controlled conditions that may compromise their external validity. A literature review was conducted of published English language articles that reported the findings of studies assessing external validity by a comparison of the patient sample included in RCTs reporting on pharmaceutical interventions with patients from everyday clinical practice. The review focused on publications in the fields of cardiology, mental health, and oncology. A range of databases were interrogated (MEDLINE; EMBASE; Science Citation Index; Cochrane Methodology Register). Double-abstract review and data extraction were performed as per protocol specifications. Out of 5,456 de-duplicated abstracts, 52 studies met the inclusion criteria (cardiology, n = 20; mental health, n = 17; oncology, n = 15). Studies either performed an analysis of the baseline characteristics (demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical parameters) of RCT-enrolled patients compared with a real-world population, or assessed the proportion of real-world patients who would have been eligible for RCT inclusion following the application of RCT inclusion/exclusion criteria. Many of the included studies concluded that RCT samples are highly selected and have a lower risk profile than real-world populations, with the frequent exclusion of elderly patients and patients with co-morbidities. Calculation of ineligibility rates in individual studies showed that a high proportion of the general disease population was often excluded from trials. The majority of studies (n = 37 [71.2 %]) explicitly concluded that RCT samples were not broadly representative of real-world patients and that this may limit the external validity of the RCT. Authors made a number of recommendations to improve external validity. Findings from this review indicate that there is a need to improve the external validity of RCTs such that physicians treating patients
Lau, Annie YS; Dennis, Sarah; Liaw, Siaw-Teng; Coiera, Enrico
Background Many studies have shown the effectiveness of self-management for patients with asthma. In particular, possession and use of a written asthma action plan provided by a doctor has shown to significantly improve patients’ asthma control. Yet, uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma management is low in the community, especially amongst adults. Objective A Web-based personally controlled health management system (PCHMS) called Healthy.me will be evaluated in a 2010 CONSORT-compliant 2-group (static websites verse PCHMS) parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT) (allocation ratio 1:1). Methods The PCHMS integrates an untethered personal health record with consumer care pathways and social forums. After eligibility assessment, a sample of 300 adult patients with moderate persistent asthma will be randomly assigned to one of these arms. After 12 months of using either Healthy.me or information websites (usual care arm), a post-study assessment will be conducted. Results The primary outcome measure is possession of or revision of an asthma action plan during the study. Secondary outcome measures include: (1) adherence to the asthma action plan, (2) rate of planned and unplanned visits to healthcare providers for asthma issues, (3) usage patterns of Healthy.me and attrition rates, (4) asthma control and asthma exacerbation scores, and (5) impact of asthma on life and competing demands, and days lost from work. Conclusions This RCT will provide insights into whether access to an online PCHMS will improve uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma actions. Trial Registration Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000716864; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=362714 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6IYBJGRnW). PMID:23942523
Carlisle, J B; Dexter, F; Pandit, J J; Shafer, S L; Yentis, S M
In a previous paper, one of the authors (JBC) used a chi-squared method to analyse the means (SD) of baseline variables, such as height or weight, from randomised controlled trials by Fujii et al., concluding that the probabilities that the reported distributions arose by chance were infinitesimally small. Subsequent testing of that chi-squared method, using simulation, suggested that the method was incorrect. This paper corrects the chi-squared method and tests its performance and the performance of Monte Carlo simulations and ANOVA to analyse the probability of random sampling. The corrected chi-squared method and ANOVA method became inaccurate when applied to means that were reported imprecisely. Monte Carlo simulations confirmed that baseline data from 158 randomised controlled trials by Fujii et al. were different to those from 329 trials published by other authors and that the distribution of Fujii et al.'s data were different to the expected distribution, both p < 10(-16) . The number of Fujii randomised controlled trials with unlikely distributions was less with Monte Carlo simulation than with the 2012 chi-squared method: 102 vs 117 trials with p < 0.05; 60 vs 86 for p < 0.01; 30 vs 56 for p < 0.001; and 12 vs 24 for p < 0.00001, respectively. The Monte Carlo analysis nevertheless confirmed the original conclusion that the distribution of the data presented by Fujii et al. was extremely unlikely to have arisen from observed data. The Monte Carlo analysis may be an appropriate screening tool to check for non-random (i.e. unreliable) data in randomised controlled trials submitted to journals.
Bugg, Julie M; Smallwood, Alicia
The dual mechanisms of control account proposed a role for proactive and reactive mechanisms in minimizing or resolving interference in conflict tasks. Proactive mechanisms are activated in advance of stimulus onset and lead to preparatory biasing of attention in a goal-directed fashion. Reactive mechanisms are triggered post-stimulus onset. Using an explicit, trial-by-trial pre-cueing procedure in a 4-choice color-word Stroop task, we investigated effects of congruency pre-cues on cognitive control. Under conditions of stimulus uncertainty (i.e., each word was associated with multiple, equally probable responses), pre-cue benefits were observed on incongruent trials when cues were 100% valid but not when they were 75% valid. These benefits were selectively found at the longest cue-to-stimulus interval (2,000 ms), consistent with a preparation-dependent proactive control mechanism. By contrast, when a reactive strategy of switching attention to the irrelevant dimension to predict the single correlated response was viable, pre-cue benefits were observed on incongruent trials for all cue-to-stimulus intervals including the shortest that afforded only 500 ms to prepare. The findings (a) suggest a restricted role for the preparation-dependent biasing of attention via proactive control in response to explicit, trial-by-trial pre-cues while (b) highlighting strategies that lead to pre-cue benefits but which appear to reflect primarily reactive use of the information afforded by the pre-cues. We conclude that pre-cues, though available in advance of stimulus onset, may stimulate proactive or reactive minimization of interference. PMID:25522873
Dong, Nianbo; Lipsey, Mark W.
Attrition occurs when study participants who were assigned to the treatment and control conditions do not provide outcome data and thus do not contribute to the estimation of the treatment effects. It is very common in experimental studies in education as illustrated, for instance, in a meta-analysis studying "the effects of attrition on baseline…
Background The success of a human intervention trial depends upon the ability to recruit eligible volunteers. Many trials fail because of unrealistic recruitment targets and flawed recruitment strategies. In order to predict recruitment rates accurately, researchers need information on the relative success of various recruitment strategies. Few published trials include such information and the number of participants screened or approached is not always cited. Methods This paper will describe in detail the recruitment strategies employed to identify older adults for recruitment to a 6-month randomised controlled dietary intervention trial which aimed to explore the relationship between diet and immune function (The FIT study). The number of people approached and recruited, and the reasons for exclusion, will be discussed. Results Two hundred and seventeen participants were recruited to the trial. A total of 7,482 letters were sent to potential recruits using names and addresses that had been supplied by local Family (General) Practices. Eight hundred and forty three potential recruits replied to all methods of recruitment (528 from GP letters and 315 from other methods). The eligibility of those who replied was determined using a screening telephone interview, 217 of whom were found to be suitable and agreed to take part in the study. Conclusion The study demonstrates the application of multiple recruitment methods to successfully recruit older people to a randomised controlled trial. The most successful recruitment method was by contacting potential recruits by letter on NHS headed note paper using contacts provided from General Practices. Ninety percent of recruitment was achieved using this method. Adequate recruitment is fundamental to the success of a research project, and appropriate strategies must therefore be adopted in order to identify eligible individuals and achieve recruitment targets. Trial registration number ISRCTN45031464. PMID:20175903
Background Acupuncture has been widely used as a treatment for stroke in China for more than 3,000 years. However, previous research has not yet shown that acupuncture is effective as a stroke treatment. We report a protocol for a multicenter, randomized, controlled, and outcome assessor-blind trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture on acute ischemic stroke. Methods/Design In a prospective trial involving three hospitals in the Zhejiang Province (China) 250 patients with a recent (less than 1 week previous) episode of ischemic stroke will be included. Patients will be randomized into two groups: an acupuncture group given scalp acupuncture and electroacupuncture, and a control group given no acupuncture. Eighteen treatment sessions will be performed over a three-week period. The primary outcome will be measured by changes in the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at the one, three, and four-week follow-up. Secondary outcome measures will be: 1) the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale for motor function; 2) the mini-mental state examination and Montreal cognitive assessment for cognitive function; 3) the video-fluoroscopic swallowing study for swallowing ability; and 4) the incidence of adverse events. Discussion This trial is expected to clarify whether or not acupuncture is effective for acute stroke. It will also show if acupuncture can improve motor, cognitive, or swallowing function. Trial registration Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-TRC-12001971. PMID:24908241
Background Laparoscopic adhesiolysis is emerging as an alternative for open surgery in adhesive small bowel obstruction. Retrospective studies suggest that laparoscopic approach shortens hospital stay and reduces complications in these patients. However, no prospective, randomized, controlled trials comparing laparoscopy to open surgery have been published. Methods/Design This is a multicenter, prospective, open label, randomized, controlled trial comparing laparoscopic adhesiolysis to open surgery in patients with computed-tomography diagnosed adhesive small bowel obstruction that is not resolving with conservative management. The primary study endpoint is the length of postoperative hospital stay in days. Sample size was estimated based on preliminary retrospective cohort, which suggested that 102 patients would provide 80% power to detect a difference of 2.5 days in the length of postoperative hospital stay with significance level of 0.05. Secondary endpoints include passage of stool, commencement of enteral nutrition, 30-day mortality, complications, postoperative pain, and the length of sick leave. Tertiary endpoints consist of the rate of ventral hernia and the recurrence of small bowel obstruction during long-term follow-up. Long-term follow-up by letter or telephone interview will take place at 1, 5, and 10 years. Discussion To the best of our knowledge, this trial is the first one aiming to provide level Ib evidence to assess the use of laparoscopy in the treatment of adhesive small bowel obstruction. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01867528. Date of registration May 26th 2013. PMID:25306234
Wu, Yan; Robinson, Nicola; Hardiman, Paul J.; Taw, Malcolm B.; Zhou, Jue; Wang, Fang-fang; Qu, Fan
Objective: To provide guidance for future randomized controlled trials (RCTs) based on a review concerning acupuncture for treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in October 2015 using MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCISEARCH, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group trials register, Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and the Wanfang databases. RCTs comparing either acupuncture with no/sham/pharmacological intervention or a combination of acupuncture and conventional therapy with conventional therapy in the treatment of PCOS were included in this review. A quality evaluation was performed for each of the included studies. Results: Thirty-one RCTs were included in the review and were divided into four categories according to the type of intervention used in the comparator or control group. Menstrual frequency, hormones, anthropometrics, insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, and fertility were used as the main measurements to assess the effects of acupuncture on the patients with PCOS. Thirty trials, except for one, showed an improvement in at least one of the indicators of PCOS after acupuncture treatment. However, normalizing the methodological and reporting format remains an issue. Conclusions: Based upon this review of current clinical trials concerning acupuncture for treating PCOS, we provide guidelines for better clinical trial design in the future. PMID:26984837
Jiang, Guangming; Keating, Anthony; Corrie, Shaun; O'halloran, Kelly; Nguyen, Lam; Yuan, Zhiguo
Intermittent dosing of free nitrous acid (FNA), with or without the simultaneous dosing of hydrogen peroxide, is a new strategy developed recently for the control of sulfide production in sewers. Six-month field trials have been carried out in a rising main sewer in Australia (150 mm in diameter and 1080 m in length) to evaluate the performance of the strategy that was previously demonstrated in laboratory studies. In each trial, FNA was dosed at a pumping station for a period of 8 or 24 h, some with simultaneous hydrogen peroxide dosing. The sulfide control effectiveness was monitored by measuring, on-line, the dissolved sulfide concentration at a downstream location of the pipeline (828 m from the pumping station) and the gaseous H2S concentration at the discharge manhole. Effective sulfide control was achieved in all nine consecutive trials, with sulfide production reduced by more than 80% in 10 days following each dose. Later trials achieved better control efficiency than the first few trials possibly due to the disrupting effects of FNA on sewer biofilms. This suggests that an initial strong dose (more chemical consumption) followed by maintenance dosing (less chemical consumption) could be a very cost-effective way to achieve consistent control efficiency. It was also found that heavy rainfall slowed the recovery of sulfide production after dosing, likely due to the dilution effects and reduced retention time. Overall, intermittent dose of FNA or FNA in combination with H2O2 was successfully demonstrated to be a cost-effective method for sulfide control in rising main sewers.
Jiang, Guangming; Keating, Anthony; Corrie, Shaun; O'halloran, Kelly; Nguyen, Lam; Yuan, Zhiguo
Intermittent dosing of free nitrous acid (FNA), with or without the simultaneous dosing of hydrogen peroxide, is a new strategy developed recently for the control of sulfide production in sewers. Six-month field trials have been carried out in a rising main sewer in Australia (150 mm in diameter and 1080 m in length) to evaluate the performance of the strategy that was previously demonstrated in laboratory studies. In each trial, FNA was dosed at a pumping station for a period of 8 or 24 h, some with simultaneous hydrogen peroxide dosing. The sulfide control effectiveness was monitored by measuring, on-line, the dissolved sulfide concentration at a downstream location of the pipeline (828 m from the pumping station) and the gaseous H2S concentration at the discharge manhole. Effective sulfide control was achieved in all nine consecutive trials, with sulfide production reduced by more than 80% in 10 days following each dose. Later trials achieved better control efficiency than the first few trials possibly due to the disrupting effects of FNA on sewer biofilms. This suggests that an initial strong dose (more chemical consumption) followed by maintenance dosing (less chemical consumption) could be a very cost-effective way to achieve consistent control efficiency. It was also found that heavy rainfall slowed the recovery of sulfide production after dosing, likely due to the dilution effects and reduced retention time. Overall, intermittent dose of FNA or FNA in combination with H2O2 was successfully demonstrated to be a cost-effective method for sulfide control in rising main sewers. PMID:23764584
Raver, C. Cybele; Jones, Stephanie M.; Li-Grining, Christine; Zhai, Fuhua; Metzger, Molly W.; Solomon, Bonnie
The present study evaluated the efficacy of a multicomponent, classroom-based intervention in reducing preschoolers' behavior problems. The Chicago School Readiness Project model was implemented in 35 Head Start classrooms using a clustered-randomized controlled trial design. Results indicate significant treatment effects (ds = 0.53-0.89) for…
Craig, Ashley; And Others
This paper presents results of a controlled trial of 3 child stuttering treatment strategies in 97 subjects. All 3 treatments (electromyography feedback, intensive smooth speech, and home-based smooth speech) were very successful in the long term for 70% of the group, with electromyography and home-based treatment appearing to be especially…
Cream, Angela; O'Brian, Sue; Jones, Mark; Block, Susan; Harrison, Elisabeth; Lincoln, Michelle; Hewat, Sally; Packman, Ann; Menzies, Ross; Onslow, Mark
Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated the efficacy of video self-modeling (VSM) following speech restructuring treatment to improve the maintenance of treatment effects. Method: The design was an open-plan, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial. Participants were 89 adults and adolescents who undertook intensive speech…
Reducing Latino preschoolers' TV viewing is needed to reduce their risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. This study's objective was to evaluate the Fit 5 Kids (F5K) TV reduction program's impact on Latino preschooler's TV viewing. The study design was a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT...
Fraser, Mark W.; Lee, Jung-Sook; Kupper, Lawrence L.; Day, Steven H.
Objective: Six-month follow-up outcomes from a controlled trial of a program designed to prevent aggressive behavior in childhood are described. Method: Data were collected from three sequential cohorts of third graders in two public elementary schools (N = 443). The Year 1 cohort received a routine health curriculum. The Year 2 cohort received…
Kubiak, Sheryl Pimlott; Kim, Woo Jong; Fedock, Gina; Bybee, Deborah
Objective: Beyond Violence (BV), a new prevention program for women with assaultive offenses, demonstrated feasibility in previous studies. This study's purpose is to assess the efficacy of BV using a randomized control trial. Method: Eligible women were randomly assigned to treatment as usual (TAU) and the experimental condition (BV). Measures of…
Logue, Alexandra W.; Watanabe-Rose, Mari
This study used a randomized controlled trial to determine whether students, assessed by their community colleges as needing an elementary algebra (remedial) mathematics course, could instead succeed at least as well in a college-level, credit-bearing introductory statistics course with extra support (a weekly workshop). Researchers randomly…
Gullion, David S.; And Others
A randomized control trial was used to evaluate a physician education program designed to improve physician management of patients' hypertension, hypertension-related behaviors, and diastolic blood pressure. It was suggested that more intensive continuing medical education programs are needed to improve physician performance and patient outcome.…
Dadds, Mark R.; MacDonald, Elayne; Cauchi, Avril; Williams, Katrina; Levy, Florence; Brennan, John
The last two decades have witnessed a surge in research investigating the application of oxytocin as a method of enhancing social behaviour in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests oxytocin may have potential as an intervention for autism. We evaluated a 5-day "live-in" intervention using a double-blind randomized control trial. 38 male…
Emslie, Graham J.; Ventura, Daniel; Korotzer, Andrew; Tourkodimitris, Stavros
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that involves 312 male and female patients aged 12-17 reveal the effectiveness of escitalopram in the treatment of depressed adolescents. Eighty-three percent of the participants or 259 participants completed the 8 weeks therapy period.
Bar-Haim, Yair; Morag, Inbar; Glickman, Shlomit
Background: Threat-related attention biases have been implicated in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. As a result, attention bias modification (ABM) protocols have been employed as treatments for anxious adults. However, they have yet to emerge for children. A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial was conducted to…
Munasinghe, Sujeeva A.; Oliff, Carolyn; Finn, Judith; Wray, John A.
To examine the effects of a digestive enzyme supplement in improving expressive language, behaviour and other symptoms in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial using crossover design over 6 months for 43 children, aged 3-8 years. Outcome measurement tools included monthly Global Behaviour Rating…
Hillier, Susan; McIntyre, Auburn; Plummer, Leanne
Aquatic therapy is an intervention for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) that has not been investigated formally. This was a pilot randomized controlled trial to investigate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of an aquatic therapy program to improve motor skills of children with DCD. Thirteen children (mean age 7…
Le, Huynh-Nhu; Perry, Deborah F.; Stuart, Elizabeth A.
Objective: A randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral (CBT) intervention to prevent perinatal depression in high-risk Latinas. Method: A sample of 217 participants, predominantly low-income Central American immigrants who met demographic and depression risk criteria, were randomized into usual…
DelBello, Melissa P.; Findling, Robert L.; Kushner, Stuart; Wang, Daniel; Olson, William H.; Capece, Julie A.; Fazzio, Lydia; Rosenthal, Norman R.
Objective: To assess the efficacy of topiramate monotherapy for acute mania in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder type 1. Method: This double-blind, placebo-controlled study was discontinued early when adult mania trials with topiramate failed to show efficacy. Efficacy end points included the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), Brief…
Chittleborough, Catherine R.; Nicholson, Alexandra L.; Basker, Elaine; Bell, Sarah; Campbell, Rona
This article explores factors that may influence hand washing behaviour among pupils and staff in primary schools. A qualitative process evaluation within a cluster randomized controlled trial included pupil focus groups (n = 16, aged 6-11 years), semi-structured interviews (n = 16 teachers) and observations of hand washing facilities (n = 57).…
Mayer, Alexander K.; Weiss, Michael J.; Visher, Mary G.; Sommo, Colleen; Rudd, Timothy; Cullinan, Dan; Weissman, Evan; Wathington, Heather D.
This paper presents research that explores similarities and differences across six randomized controlled trials of learning communities in community colleges that were conducted by MDRC and the National Center for Postsecondary Research. Five of these studies track students' progress in the program semester and two follow-up semesters, and one…
Carey, Brenda; O'Brian, Sue; Onslow, Mark; Block, Susan; Jones, Mark; Packman, Ann
Background: Although there are treatments that can alleviate stuttering in adults for clinically significant periods, in Australia there are barriers to the accessibility and availability of best-practice treatment. Aims: This parallel group, non-inferiority randomized controlled trial with multiple blinded outcome assessments investigated whether…
Shannon, Lisa Cassidy; Styers, Mary Koenig; Wilkerson, Stephanie Baird; Peery, Elizabeth
This study evaluated the efficacy of Accelerated Reader, a computer-based learning program, at improving student reading. Accelerated Reader is a progress-monitoring, assessment, and practice tool that supports classroom instruction and guides independent reading. Researchers used a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the program with 344…
Duff, Fiona J.; Hulme, Charles; Grainger, Katy; Hardwick, Samantha J.; Miles, Jeremy N. V.; Snowling, Margaret J.
Background: Intervention studies for children at risk of dyslexia have typically been delivered preschool, and show short-term effects on letter knowledge and phoneme awareness, with little transfer to literacy. Methods: This randomised controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a reading and language intervention for 6-year-old children…
Oosterling, Iris; Visser, Janne; Swinkels, Sophie; Rommelse, Nanda; Donders, Rogier; Woudenberg, Tim; Roos, Sascha; van der Gaag, Rutger Jan; Buitelaar, Jan
This randomized controlled trial compared results obtained after 12 months of nonintensive parent training plus care-as-usual and care-as-usual alone. The training focused on stimulating joint attention and language skills and was based on the intervention described by Drew et al. (Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatr 11:266-272, 2002). Seventy-five…
Miller, David J.; Robertson, Derek P.
It is known that computer games are motivating for children, but there is limited direct evidence of their effects on classroom learning. The studies that are available tend to be limited in terms of output data reported, or small in scale, or both. The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to upscale a recent study by Miller and Robertson…
Hitchcock, John H.; Kurki, Anja; Wilkins, Chuck; Dimino, Joseph; Gersten, Russell
When attempting to determine if an intervention has a causal impact, the "gold standard" of program evaluation is the randomized controlled trial (RCT). In education studies random assignment is rarely feasible at the student level, making RCTs harder to conduct. School-level assignment is more common but this often requires considerable resources…
Savage, Robert S.; Abrami, Philip; Hipps, Geoffrey; Deault, Louise
This study reports a randomized controlled trial evaluation of a computer-based balanced literacy intervention, ABRACADABRA (http://grover.concordia.ca/abra/version1/abracadabra.html). Children (N = 144) in Grade 1 were exposed either to computer activities for word analysis, text comprehension, and fluency, alongside shared stories (experimental…
Fung, Ellen B.; Ritchie, Lorrene D.; Walker, Brent H.; Gildengorin, Ginny; Crawford, Patricia B.
Objective: Examine the impact of providing yogurt to women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Design: Randomized, controlled intervention trial. Setting: Two California WIC local agency sites. Participants: 511 pregnant, breast-feeding, or postpartum women. Intervention: Substitution of…
Schochet, Peter Z.
Pretest-posttest experimental designs are often used in randomized control trials (RCTs) in the education field to improve the precision of the estimated treatment effects. For logistic reasons, however, pretest data are often collected after random assignment, so that including them in the analysis could bias the posttest impact estimates. Thus,…
Schochet, Peter Z.
Pretest-posttest experimental designs often are used in randomized control trials (RCTs) in the education field to improve the precision of the estimated treatment effects. For logistic reasons, however, pretest data often are collected after random assignment, so that including them in the analysis could bias the posttest impact estimates. Thus,…
Bell, Chloe E.; Robbins, Steven J.
Art therapists have long held that art production causes reductions in stress and elevations in mood (Rubin, 1999). The authors examined this claim in a randomized, controlled trial. Fifty adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were randomly assigned to either create an art work or to view and sort a series of art prints. Three measures of overall…
Wijekumar, Kausalai; Meyer, Bonnie J. F.; Lei, Pui-Wa; Lin, Yu-Chu; Johnson, Lori A.; Spielvogel, James A.; Shurmatz, Kathryn M.; Ray, Melissa; Cook, Michael
This article reports on a large scale randomized controlled trial to study the efficacy of a web-based intelligent tutoring system for the structure strategy designed to improve content area reading comprehension. The research was conducted with 128 fifth-grade classrooms within 12 school districts in rural and suburban settings. Classrooms within…
Arnott, Simone; Onslow, Mark; O'Brian, Sue; Packman, Ann; Jones, Mark; Block, Susan
Purpose: This study adds to the Lidcombe Program evidence base by comparing individual and group treatment of preschoolers who stutter. Method: A randomized controlled trial of 54 preschoolers was designed to establish whether group delivery outcomes were not inferior to the individual model. The group arm used a rolling group model, in which a…
Rogde, Kristin; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Lervåg, Arne
Second-language learners display poorer general language skills in the language used at school than their monolingual peers, which is a concern because general language skills (vocabulary, grammar, language expression, and comprehension) provide the foundation for later academic success. In a randomized controlled trial, we examined the efficacy…
Forster, Martin; Sundell, Knut; Morris, Richard J.; Karlberg, Martin; Melin, Lennart
This study reports the results from a Swedish randomized controlled trial of a standardized behavior management intervention. The intervention targeted students with externalizing behavior in a regular education setting. First- and second-grade students (N = 100) from 38 schools were randomly assigned to either the intervention or an active…
Amir, Nader; Taylor, Charles T.
Objective: To examine the efficacy of a multisession computerized interpretation modification program (IMP) in the treatment of generalized social anxiety disorder (GSAD). Method: The sample comprised 49 individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for GSAD who were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial comparing IMP (n = 23)…
Vitolo, Marcia Regina; Bortolini, Gisele Ane; Campagnolo, Paula Dal Bo; Hoffman, Daniel J.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of a dietary counseling in reducing the intake of energy-dense foods by infants. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting and Participants: Sao Leopoldo, Brazil. Mothers and infants of a low-income-group population were randomized into intervention (n = 163) and received dietary counseling during 10 home…
Zinn, Tracy E.; Newland, M. Christopher; Ritchie, Katie E.
Because it employs an emergent-learning framework, equivalence-based instruction (EBI) is said to be highly efficient, but its presumed benefits must be compared quantitatively with alternative techniques. In a randomized controlled trial, 61 college students attempted to learn 32 pairs of proprietary and generic drug names using computer-based…
Diamond, Guy S.; Wintersteen, Matthew B.; Brown, Gregory K.; Diamond, Gary M.; Gallop, Robert; Shelef, Karni; Levy, Suzanne
Objective: To evaluate whether Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is more effective than Enhanced Usual Care (EUC) for reducing suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms in adolescents. Method: This was a randomized controlled trial of suicidal adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, identified in primary care and emergency departments. Of…
Puma, Michael J.; Olsen, Robert B.; Bell, Stephen H.; Price, Cristofer
This NCEE Technical Methods report examines how to address the problem of missing data in the analysis of data in Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) of educational interventions, with a particular focus on the common educational situation in which groups of students such as entire classrooms or schools are randomized. Missing outcome data are a…
Beer, Gwendolyn M; Gurule, Margaret M; Komesu, Yuko M; Qualls, Clifford R; Rogers, Rebecca G
This is a randomized, controlled, blind, crossover trial comparing cycling versus continuous programming of a sacral neuromodulator in women diagnosed with overactive bladder (OAB). At 6 months, treatment order significantly affected Overactive Bladder Questionnaire - Short Form (OABq-SF) symptom scores. The cycling followed by continuous stimulation group had superior OABq-SF scores (p > 0.02). PMID:27501593
Bent, Stephen; Bertoglio, Kiah; Ashwood, Paul; Bostrom, Alan; Hendren, Robert L.
We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and initial safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids (1.3 g/day) for the treatment of hyperactivity in 27 children ages 3-8 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After 12 weeks, hyperactivity, as measured by the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, improved 2.7 (plus or minus…
Westen, Drew; Novotny, Catherine M.; Thompson-Brenner, Heather
This article provides a critical review of the assumptions and findings of studies used to establish psychotherapies as empirically supported. The attempt to identify empirically supported therapies (ESTs) imposes particular assumptions on the use of randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology that appear to be valid for some disorders and…
Drits-Esser, Dina; Bass, Kristin M.; Stark, Louisa A.
How can researchers in K-12 contexts stay true to the principles of rigorous evaluation designs within the constraints of classroom settings and limited funding? This paper explores this question by presenting a small-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the efficacy of curricular supplemental materials on epigenetics. The…
Griffiths, Kathleen M.; Christensen, Helen
Self-help Internet interventions have the potential to enable consumers to play a central role in managing their own health. This paper contains a systematic review of 15 randomised controlled trials of the effectiveness of self-help Internet interventions for mental disorders and related conditions. Conditions addressed by the interventions…
Axelsson, Inge; Marnetoft, Sven-Uno
The aim of this study was to try to identify those randomized controlled trials that compare sick leave with no sick leave or a different duration or degree of sick leave. A comprehensive, systematic, electronic search of Clinical Evidence, the Cochrane Library and PubMed, and a manual search of the Campbell Library and a journal supplement was…
The primary technique that many researchers use to analyze data from randomized control trials (RCTs)--detecting the average treatment effect (ATE)--imposes assumptions upon the data that often are not correct. Both theory and past research suggest that treatments may have significant impacts on subgroups even when showing no overall effect.…
Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Filmer, Deon; McIntyre, Joe
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and regression discontinuity (RD) studies both provide estimates of causal effects. A major difference between the two is that RD only estimates local average treatment effects (LATE) near the cutoff point of the forcing variable. This has been cited as a drawback to RD designs (Cook & Wong, 2008).…
Some evaluators employ randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as the gold standard of evidence-based practice (EBP). Critics of RCT designs argue that RCTs do not include the complexity of program participants' experiences or clinical expertise, and couple this with criticisms that it is difficult to transfer RCT findings from the laboratory to…
Greeson, Jeffrey M.; Juberg, Michael K.; Maytan, Margaret; James, Kiera; Rogers, Holly
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Koru, a mindfulness training program for college students and other emerging adults. Participants: Ninety students (66% female, 62% white, 71% graduate students) participated between Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. Methods: Randomized controlled trial. It was hypothesized that Koru, compared with a wait-list…
Pardos, Zachary A.; Dailey, Matthew D.; Heffernan, Neil T.
The well established, gold standard approach to finding out what works in education research is to run a randomized controlled trial (RCT) using a standard pre-test and post-test design. RCTs have been used in the intelligent tutoring community for decades to determine which questions and tutorial feedback work best. Practically speaking, however,…
Barner, David; Alvarez, George; Sullivan, Jessica; Brooks, Neon; Srinivasan, Mahesh; Frank, Michael C.
Mental abacus (MA) is a technique of performing fast, accurate arithmetic using a mental image of an abacus; experts exhibit astonishing calculation abilities. Over 3 years, 204 elementary school students (age range at outset: 5-7 years old) participated in a randomized, controlled trial to test whether MA expertise (a) can be acquired in standard…
Klingberg, Torkel; Fernell, Elisabeth; Olesen, Pernille J.; Johnson, Mats; Gustafsson, Per; Dahlstrom, Kerstin; Gillberg, Christopher G.; Forssberg, Hans; Westerberg, Helena
Objective: Deficits in executive functioning, including working memory (WM) deficits, have been suggested to be important in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). During 2002 to 2003, the authors conducted a multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind trial to investigate the effect of improving WM by computerized, systematic…
Iacoviello, Brian M.; McCarthy, Kevin Scott; Barrett, Marna S.; Rynn, Moira; Gallop, Robert; Barber, Jacques P.
The influence of treatment preferences on the development of the therapeutic alliance was investigated. Seventy-five patients were followed while participating in a randomized controlled trial comparing supportive-expressive psychotherapy with sertraline or pill placebo in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Therapeutic alliance was…
Murphy, James G.; Dennhardt, Ashley A.; Skidmore, Jessica R.; Borsari, Brian; Barnett, Nancy P.; Colby, Suzanne M.; Martens, Matthew P.
Objective: Behavioral economic theory suggests that a reduction in substance use is most likely when there is an increase in rewarding substance-free activities. The goal of this randomized controlled clinical trial was to evaluate the incremental efficacy of a novel behavioral economic supplement (Substance-Free Activity Session [SFAS]) to a…
Leung, Cynthia; Tsang, Sandra; Heung, Kitty
Purpose: The study reported the effectiveness of a home visit program for disadvantaged Chinese parents with preschool children, using cluster randomized controlled trial design. Method: Participants included 191 parents and their children from 24 preschools, with 84 dyads (12 preschools) in the intervention group and 107 dyads (12 preschools) in…
Parish, Susan L.; Rose, Roderick A.; Luken, Karen; Swaine, Jamie G.; O'Hare, Lindsey
Background: Women with developmental disabilities are much less likely than nondisabled women to receive cervical and breast cancer screening according to clinical guidelines. One barrier to receipt of screenings is a lack of knowledge about preventive screenings. Method: To address this barrier, we used a randomized control trial (n = 175 women)…
Deary, Ian J.; Gale, Catharine R.; Stewart, Marlene C. W.; Fowkes, F. Gerald R.; Murray, Gordon D.; Batty, G. David; Price, Jacqueline F.
The study examined whether verbal intelligence is associated with persisting to take medication for up to two years. The design is a prospective follow-up of compliance with taking medication in high-risk individuals participating in a randomised, placebo-controlled trial set in Central Scotland. Participants were 1993 people aged between 50 and…
Ravn, Ingrid Helen; Lindemann, Rolf; Smeby, Nina Aarhus; Bunch, Eli Haugen; Sandvik, Leiv; Smith, Lars
The atypical behaviour of preterm infants can elicit stress in fathers and influence their ability to perceive and interpret infants' cues. This study investigated whether fathers of moderately and late preterm infants were more stressed than fathers of term infants. In a randomised controlled trial, we also studied the effect of the Mother-Infant…
The feasibility and acceptability of conducting a trial of specialist medical care and the Lightning Process in children with chronic fatigue syndrome: feasibility randomized controlled trial (SMILE study)
Background Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is relatively common in children with limited evidence for treatment. The Phil Parker Lightning Process (LP) is a trademarked intervention, which >250 children use annually. There are no reported studies investigating the effectiveness or possible side effects of LP. Methods The trial population was drawn from the Bath and Bristol NHS specialist paediatric CFS or ME service. The study was designed as a pilot randomized trial with children (aged 12 to 18 years) comparing specialist medical care with specialist medical care plus the Lightning Process. Integrated qualitative methodology was used to explore the feasibility and acceptability of the recruitment, randomization and interventions. Results A total of 56 children were recruited from 156 eligible children (1 October 2010 to 16 June 2012). Recruitment, randomization and both interventions were feasible and acceptable. Participants suggested changes to improve feasibility and acceptability and we incorporated the following in the trial protocol: stopped collecting 6-week outcomes; introduced a second reminder letter; used phone calls to collect primary outcomes from nonresponders; informed participants about different approaches of each intervention and changed our recommendation for the primary outcome for the full study from school attendance to disability (SF-36 physical function subscale) and fatigue (Chalder Fatigue Scale). Conclusions Conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to investigate an alternative treatment such as LP is feasible and acceptable for children with CFS or ME. Feasibility studies that incorporate qualitative methodology enable changes to be made to trial protocols to improve acceptability to participants. This is likely to improve recruitment rate and trial retention. Trial registration Feasibility study first randomization: 29 September 2010. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN81456207
Sandhaus, Robert A
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a condition caused by the inheritance of two mutated SERPINA1 gene alleles. Individuals with AATD are at increased risk of injury to the liver and lungs. The pulmonary manifestations include precocious onset of pulmonary emphysema and bronchiectasis. For nearly three decades, treatment has been available to individuals with emphysema caused by AATD, but this therapy-augmentation of plasma and tissue alpha-1 antitrypsin levels by intravenous administration of human plasma-derived protein-was approved by regulatory authorities based on its biochemical efficacy. This therapy appears to slow the progression of emphysema in patients with AATD. The medical, patient, and regulatory communities have sought assurance that this expensive therapy provides measurable clinical benefit. Documenting such benefit has been difficult because of the slow progression of the underlying lung disease in AATD, the rarity of this genetic condition, and the lack of direct quantitative measurements of emphysema progression. Over the past decade, quantitative computed tomography (CT) densitometry of the lungs has been found to correlate with severity and progression of emphysema. The recent publication of a well-powered, masked, placebo-controlled study using CT densitometry to evaluate the effectiveness of augmentation therapy at slowing the progression of emphysema has provided some assurance of the clinical efficacy of this therapy. PMID:27564674
Baraniuk, James N.; El-Amin, Suliman; Corey, Rebecca; Rayhan, Rakib U.; Timbol, Christian R.
About 25% of 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War veterans experience disabling fatigue, widespread pain, and cognitive dysfunction termed Gulf War illness (GWI) or Chronic Multisymptom Illness (CMI). A leading theory proposes that wartime exposures initiated prolonged production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and central nervous system injury. The endogenous antioxidant L-carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is a potential treatment since it is a free radical scavenger in nervous tissue. To determine if nutritional supplementation with L-carnosine would significantly improve pain, cognition and fatigue in GWI, a randomized double blind placebo controlled 12 week dose escalation study involving 25 GWI subjects was employed. L-carnosine was given as 500, 1000, and 1500 mg increasing at 4 week intervals. Outcomes included subjective fatigue, pain and psychosocial questionnaires, and instantaneous fatigue and activity levels recorded by ActiWatch Score devices. Cognitive function was evaluated by WAIS-R digit symbol substitution test. Carnosine had 2 potentially beneficial effects: WAIS-R scores increased significantly, and there was a decrease in diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome. No other significant incremental changes were found. Therefore, 12 weeks of carnosine (1500 mg) may have beneficial cognitive effects in GWI. Fatigue, pain, hyperalgesia, activity and other outcomes were resistant to treatment. PMID:23618477
Jin, Yulian; Zhao, Qing; Zhou, Kehua; Jing, Xianghong; Yu, Xiaochun; Fang, Jiliang; Liu, Zhishun; Zhu, Bing
In order to investigate the therapeutic potential of acupuncture on patients with functional dyspepsia (FD), patients were randomized to receive acupuncture at classic acupoints with manipulations (treatment group) versus acupuncture at nonacupoints without manipulation (control group) once every other day, three times a week, for one month and were followed up for three months. The primary outcomes included dyspeptic symptoms, quality of life, and mental status. The secondary outcomes included the fasting serum gastrin concentration, and frequency and propagation velocity of gastric slow waves. Sixty patients with FD were included, among whom, four dropped out. After one month's treatment, patients with FD showed significant improvements in primary (in both groups) and secondary (in the eight patients of the treatment group) outcomes as compared with baseline (P = 0.0078 to <0.0001); treatment group has better outcomes in all primary outcome measures (P < 0.0001 except for SDS (P = 0.0005)). Improvements on dyspeptic symptoms persist during follow-up (better in the treatment group). Acupuncture with manual manipulation had better effects on improving dyspeptic symptoms, mental status, and quality of life in patients with FD. These effects may be related to the increased frequency and propagation speed of gastric slow waves and serum gastrin secretion. PMID:26294930
Newton, Katherine M.; Reed, Susan D.; Guthrie, Katherine A.; Sherman, Karen J.; Booth-LaForce, Cathryn; Caan, Bette; Sternfeld, Barbara; Carpenter, Janet S.; Learman, Lee A.; Freeman, Ellen W.; Cohen, Lee S.; Joffe, Hadine; Anderson, Garnet L.; Larson, Joseph C.; Hunt, Julie R.; Ensrud, Kristine E.; LaCroix, Andrea Z.
Objective To determine the efficacy of yoga in alleviating VMS frequency and bother. Methods Three by two factorial design, randomized, controlled. Eligible women were randomized to yoga (n=107), exercise (n=106), or usual activity (n=142), and were simultaneously randomized to double-blind comparison of omega-3 fatty acid (n=177) or placebo (n=178) capsules. Yoga intervention was twelve, weekly, 90-minute yoga classes with daily home practice. Primary outcomes were VMS frequency and bother assessed by daily diaries at baseline, 6, and 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included insomnia symptoms (Insomnia Severity Index) at baseline and 12 weeks. Results Among 249 randomized women, 237 (95%) completed 12-week assessments. Mean baseline VMS frequency was 7.4/day (95% CI 6.6, 8.1) in the yoga group and 8.0/day (95% CI 7.3, 8.7) in the usual activity group. Intent-to-treat analyses included all participants with response data (n=237). There was no difference between intervention groups in change in VMS frequency from baseline to 6 and 12 weeks (mean difference (yoga – usual activity) from baseline −0.3 (95% CI −1.1, 0.5) at 6 weeks and −0.3 (95% CI −1.2, 0.6) at 12 weeks (p=0.119 across both time points). Results were similar for VMS bother. At week 12, yoga was associated with an improvement in insomnia symptoms (mean difference [yoga-usual activity] in change –Insomnia Severity Index, 1.3 [95% CI −2.5, −0.1][p=0.007]). Conclusion Among healthy women, 12 weeks of yoga class plus home practice compared with usual activity did not improve VMS frequency or bother, but reduced insomnia symptoms. PMID:24045673
Background Poorly controlled hypertension (HTN) remains one of the most significant public health problems in the United States, in terms of morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. Despite compelling evidence supporting the beneficial effects of therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) for blood pressure (BP) reduction, the effectiveness of these approaches in primary care practices remains untested, especially among African Americans, who share a disproportionately greater burden of HTN-related outcomes. Methods/Design This randomized controlled trial tests the effectiveness of a practice-based comprehensive therapeutic lifestyle intervention, delivered through group-based counseling and motivational interviewing (MINT-TLC) versus Usual Care (UC) in 200 low-income, African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension. MINT-TLC is designed to help patients make appropriate lifestyle changes and develop skills to maintain these changes long-term. Patients in the MINT-TLC group attend 10 weekly group classes focused on healthy lifestyle changes (intensive phase); followed by 3 monthly individual motivational interviewing (MINT) sessions (maintenance phase). The intervention is delivered by trained research personnel with appropriate treatment fidelity procedures. Patients in the UC condition receive a single individual counseling session on healthy lifestyle changes and print versions of the intervention materials. The primary outcome is within-patient change in both systolic and diastolic BP from baseline to 6 months. In addition to BP control at 6 months, other secondary outcomes include changes in the following lifestyle behaviors from baseline to 6 months: a) physical activity, b) weight loss, c) number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables and d) 24-hour urinary sodium excretion. Discussion This vanguard trial will provide information on how to refine MINT-TLC and integrate it into a standard treatment protocol for hypertensive African Americans as a result of
Stessel, Björn; Theunissen, Maurice; Fiddelers, Audrey A.; Joosten, Elbert A.; Kessels, Alfons G.; Gramke, Hans-Fritz; Marcus, Marco A.
Background Strong opioids in the home setting after ambulatory surgery have rarely been studied for fear of hazardous adverse effects such as respiratory depression. Objectives We compared the efficacy of paracetamol/controlled-release (CR) oxycodone and paracetamol/naproxen for treatment of acute postoperative pain at home after ambulatory surgery. Secondary outcomes were adverse effects of study medication, treatment satisfaction, and postoperative analgesic compliance. Methods Patients undergoing ambulatory knee arthroscopy or inguinal hernia repair surgery (n = 105) were randomized into 3 groups: Group1 paracetamol/naproxen (n = 35), Group 2 paracetamol/CR oxycodone for 24 hours (n = 35), and Group 3 paracetamol/CR oxycodone for 48 hours (n = 35). Pain intensity at movement and at rest using a visual analog scale as well as satisfaction with postoperative analgesia and side effects were recorded for up to 48 hours postoperatively. Compliance with study medication was also assessed. Results For pain at movement and at rest, no significant differences were found between the paracetamol/naproxen group and either the paracetamol/CR oxycodone for 24 hours group (β = 2.6 [4.9]; P = 0.597) or the paracetamol/CR oxycodone for 48 hours (β = –1.7 [5.1]; P = 0.736). No major adverse effects of study medication were registered and satisfaction with postoperative pain treatment was high in all groups. Compliance was comparable across the groups. Despite clear instructions, 8 patients with the lowest pain scores did not use any of the prescribed pain medication. Conclusions Paracetamol/CR oxycodone and paracetamol/naproxen are equally effective in treatment of acute postoperative pain at home after ambulatory surgery with comparable patient satisfaction level. We suggest paracetamol/CR oxycodone to be a valuable alternative for the current paracetamol/naproxen gold standard, particularly in patients with a contraindication for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Ahmed, Rashid J.; Gafni, Amiram; Hu, Zheng Jing; Pullenayegum, Eleanor; von Dadelszen, Peter; Rey, Evelyne; Ross, Susan; Asztalos, Elizabeth; Murphy, Kellie E.; Menzies, Jennifer; Sanchez, J. Johanna; Ganzevoort, Wessel; Helewa, Michael; Lee, Shoo K.; Lee, Terry; Logan, Alexander G.; Moutquin, Jean-Marie; Singer, Joel; Thornton, Jim G.; Welch, Ross; Magee, Laura A.
The CHIPS randomized controlled trial (Control of Hypertension in Pregnancy Study) found no difference in the primary perinatal or secondary maternal outcomes between planned “less tight” (target diastolic 100 mm Hg) and “tight” (target diastolic 85 mm Hg) blood pressure management strategies among women with chronic or gestational hypertension. This study examined which of these management strategies is more or less costly from a third-party payer perspective. A total of 981 women with singleton pregnancies and nonsevere, nonproteinuric chronic or gestational hypertension were randomized at 14 to 33 weeks to less tight or tight control. Resources used were collected from 94 centers in 15 countries and costed as if the trial took place in each of 3 Canadian provinces as a cost-sensitivity analysis. Eleven hospital ward and 24 health service costs were obtained from a similar trial and provincial government health insurance schedules of medical benefits. The mean total cost per woman–infant dyad was higher in less tight versus tight control, but the difference in mean total cost (DM) was not statistically significant in any province: Ontario ($30 191.62 versus $24 469.06; DM $5723, 95% confidence interval, −$296 to $12 272; P=0.0725); British Columbia ($30 593.69 versus $24 776.51; DM $5817; 95% confidence interval, −$385 to $12 349; P=0.0725); or Alberta ($31 510.72 versus $25 510.49; DM $6000.23; 95% confidence interval, −$154 to $12 781; P=0.0637). Tight control may benefit women without increasing risk to neonates (as shown in the main CHIPS trial), without additional (and possibly lower) cost to the healthcare system. Clinical Trial Registration— URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01192412. PMID:27550914
Forbes, N A; Fox, M T
A Caryospora species vaccine was prepared and used in an attempt to prevent infection and associated morbidity in falcons. A blind field trial was conducted, involving a vaccinated group of 20 birds and two control groups of seven and four birds, which were subsequently challenged with a live mixed-species vaccine. There was a statistically significant reduction in morbidity and shedding of oocysts in the vaccinated group compared with the control groups.
Flaugnacco, Elena; Lopez, Luisa; Terribili, Chiara; Montico, Marcella; Zoia, Stefania; Schön, Daniele
There is some evidence for a role of music training in boosting phonological awareness, word segmentation, working memory, as well as reading abilities in children with typical development. Poor performance in tasks requiring temporal processing, rhythm perception and sensorimotor synchronization seems to be a crucial factor underlying dyslexia in children. Interestingly, children with dyslexia show deficits in temporal processing, both in language and in music. Within this framework, we test the hypothesis that music training, by improving temporal processing and rhythm abilities, improves phonological awareness and reading skills in children with dyslexia. The study is a prospective, multicenter, open randomized controlled trial, consisting of test, rehabilitation and re-test (ID NCT02316873). After rehabilitation, the music group (N = 24) performed better than the control group (N = 22) in tasks assessing rhythmic abilities, phonological awareness and reading skills. This is the first randomized control trial testing the effect of music training in enhancing phonological and reading abilities in children with dyslexia. The findings show that music training can modify reading and phonological abilities even when these skills are severely impaired. Through the enhancement of temporal processing and rhythmic skills, music might become an important tool in both remediation and early intervention programs.Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02316873
Klempner, Mark S
Some patients have persistence of profound fatigue, myalgias, arthralgias without arthritis, dysesthesia/paresthesia, and mood and memory disturbances after standard courses of antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease. This constellation of symptoms has been variously referred to as "chronic Lyme disease," "post-Lyme disease syndrome," and "post-treatment chronic Lyme disease." Persistent symptoms have been reported in patients who are seropositive for IgG antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi as well as in patients who are seronegative. The cause or causes of persistent symptoms in these patients have not been clearly defined and are controversial. Because of the temporal association of these symptoms with infection with B. burgdorferi, some patients have been treated with prolonged courses of antibiotics. Case reports and uncontrolled trials have reported the efficacy of prolonged antibiotic therapy, often with relapse of the symptoms after discontinuation of therapy. To date, only one randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of antibiotic therapy for these patients has been published. An abstract of a second placebo-controlled trial of antibiotic therapy in a smaller cohort has also been presented. This paper will describe this patient population in detail and will review the clinical, microbiological, and selected biochemical and immunologic parameters and their responses to antibiotic treatment in the setting of a controlled trial.
Wang, Chong-Wen; Ng, Siu-Man; Ho, Rainbow T H; Ziea, Eric T C; Wong, Vivian C W; Chan, Cecilia L W
The objective of this review was to summarize and critically evaluate the clinical evidence of the effect of qigong exercise on immunity and its efficacy in the prevention or treatment of infectious diseases. Thirteen databases were searched from their respective inceptions through January 2011, and all controlled clinical trials of qigong exercise on immunity and infections were included. Quality and validity of the included studies were evaluated using standard scales. Seven studies including two randomized controlled trials (RCTs), two controlled clinical trials (CCTs) and three retrospective observational studies (ROSs) met the inclusion criteria. One study focused on functional measures of immunity (antigen-induced immunity) and six studies on enumerative parameters of immunity. No study on clinical symptoms relevant to infectious diseases could be identified. Overall, the included studies suggested favorable effects of qigong exercise on immunity, but the quality of research for most of the studies examined in this review was poor. Further rigorously designed studies are required, which should adhere to accepted standards of methodology for clinical trials.
Maercker, Andreas; Zöllner, Tanja; Menning, Hans; Rabe, Sirko; Karl, Anke
Background We translated, modified, and extended a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) protocol by Blanchard and Hickling (2003) for the purpose of treating survivors of MVA with full or subsyndromal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) whose native language is German. The treatment manual included some additional elements, e. g. cognitive procedures, imaginal reliving, and facilitating of posttraumatic growth. The current study was conducted in order to test the efficacy of the modified manual by administering randomized controlled trial in which a CBT was compared to a wait-list control condition. Methods Forty-two motor vehicle accident survivors with chronic or severe subsyndromal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) completed the treatment trial with two or three detailed assessments (pre, post, and 3-month follow-up). Results CAPS-scores showed significantly greater improvement in the CBT condition as compared to the wait list condition (group × time interaction effect size d = 1.61). Intent-to-treat analysis supported the outcome (d = 1.34). Categorical diagnostic data indicated clinical recovery of 67% (post-treatment) and 76% (3 months FU) in the treatment group. Additionally, patients of the CBT condition showed significantly greater reductions in co-morbid major depression than the control condition. At follow-up the improvements were stable in the active treatment condition. Conclusion The degree of improvement in our treatment group was comparable to that in previously reported treatment trials of PTSD with cognitive behavioral therapy. Trial registration ISRCTN66456536 PMID:16824221
Flaugnacco, Elena; Lopez, Luisa; Terribili, Chiara; Montico, Marcella; Zoia, Stefania; Schön, Daniele
There is some evidence for a role of music training in boosting phonological awareness, word segmentation, working memory, as well as reading abilities in children with typical development. Poor performance in tasks requiring temporal processing, rhythm perception and sensorimotor synchronization seems to be a crucial factor underlying dyslexia in children. Interestingly, children with dyslexia show deficits in temporal processing, both in language and in music. Within this framework, we test the hypothesis that music training, by improving temporal processing and rhythm abilities, improves phonological awareness and reading skills in children with dyslexia. The study is a prospective, multicenter, open randomized controlled trial, consisting of test, rehabilitation and re-test (ID NCT02316873). After rehabilitation, the music group (N = 24) performed better than the control group (N = 22) in tasks assessing rhythmic abilities, phonological awareness and reading skills. This is the first randomized control trial testing the effect of music training in enhancing phonological and reading abilities in children with dyslexia. The findings show that music training can modify reading and phonological abilities even when these skills are severely impaired. Through the enhancement of temporal processing and rhythmic skills, music might become an important tool in both remediation and early intervention programs.Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02316873 PMID:26407242
Flaugnacco, Elena; Lopez, Luisa; Terribili, Chiara; Montico, Marcella; Zoia, Stefania; Schön, Daniele
There is some evidence for a role of music training in boosting phonological awareness, word segmentation, working memory, as well as reading abilities in children with typical development. Poor performance in tasks requiring temporal processing, rhythm perception and sensorimotor synchronization seems to be a crucial factor underlying dyslexia in children. Interestingly, children with dyslexia show deficits in temporal processing, both in language and in music. Within this framework, we test the hypothesis that music training, by improving temporal processing and rhythm abilities, improves phonological awareness and reading skills in children with dyslexia. The study is a prospective, multicenter, open randomized controlled trial, consisting of test, rehabilitation and re-test (ID NCT02316873). After rehabilitation, the music group (N = 24) performed better than the control group (N = 22) in tasks assessing rhythmic abilities, phonological awareness and reading skills. This is the first randomized control trial testing the effect of music training in enhancing phonological and reading abilities in children with dyslexia. The findings show that music training can modify reading and phonological abilities even when these skills are severely impaired. Through the enhancement of temporal processing and rhythmic skills, music might become an important tool in both remediation and early intervention programs. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02316873 PMID:26407242
Coleman, Tim; Antoniak, Marilyn; Britton, John; Thornton, Jim; Lewis, Sarah; Watts, Kim
Background Smoking in pregnancy is a public health problem and effective methods for reducing this are required. Although nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is effective for smoking cessation in non-pregnant people, there is no direct evidence concerning its effectiveness in pregnancy. Despite this, clinical guidelines recommend the cautious use of NRT during pregnancy. Randomised controlled trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of NRT when used by pregnant women for smoking cessation, but the feasibility of recruiting women to such trials is unknown. Consequently, in this study we aimed to determine i) the feasibility of recruiting women to a RCT of NRT in pregnancy as they attend hospital antenatal ultrasound examinations, ii) the proportion of such women who are eligible for and interested in trial enrolment and iii) research staff perceptions of how one method of trial recruitment could be improved. Methods During a one month period, all women attending for antenatal ultrasound examination in an English teaching hospital were asked to complete a questionnaire which determined their eligibility to enrol in a proposed placebo controlled randomised trial investigating the effectiveness of NRT in pregnancy. Women who were eligible to participate were asked whether they would do so and those who accepted enrolment were offered an appointment with a smoking cessation advisor. Results Over 99% (851/858) of women agreed to complete a questionnaire about smoking habits whilst waiting for ultrasound examinations. 10.3% (88/851) of women attending for antenatal ultrasound fitted eligibility criteria for a proposed RCT of NRT in pregnancy, but only 3.6% [(31/851), 95% CI, 2.4 to 4.9%] indicated on the questionnaire that they would like to take part in a study involving randomisation to placebo or active patches. Researchers offered trial enrolment to 26 of these 31 women and 96% (25) accepted. Staff recruiting women believed that trial recruitment would be
Losina, Elena; Ranstam, Jonas; Collins, Jamie; Schnitzer, Thomas J; Katz, Jeffrey N.
Objective To highlight methodologic challenges pertinent to design, analysis, and reporting of results of randomized clinical trials in OA and offer practical suggestions to overcome these challenges. Design The topics covered in this paper include subject selection, randomization, approaches to handling missing data, subgroup analysis, sample size, and issues related to changing design mid-way through the study. Special attention is given to standardizing the reporting of results and economic analyses. Results Key findings include the importance of blinding and concealment, the distinction between superiority and non-inferiority trials, the need to minimize missing data, and appropriate analysis and interpretation of subgroup effects. Conclusion Investigators may use the findings and recommendations advanced in this paper to guide design and conduct of randomized controlled trials of interventions for osteoarthritis. PMID:25952341
Tarnow-Mordi, William; Cruz, Melinda; Morris, Jonathan
As event rates fall, if mortality and disability are to improve further there is increasing need for large, well-designed trials. These should enroll more patients, more rapidly and at lower cost, with better representation of infants at highest risk and greater integration with routine care. This may require simpler datasets, linkage with routinely collected data, and international collaboration. It may be helpful to draw attention to recent evidence that participation in Phase III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is at least as safe as receiving established care. Nationally coordinated clinical research networks employing local research staff may be the single most effective strategy to integrate clinical trials into routine practice. Other goals are: international standardization of outcomes; consensus on composite endpoints, biomarkers, surrogates and measures of disability; greater efficiency through randomized factorial designs and cluster or cross-over cluster RCTs; and equipping parents as partners in all aspects of the conduct of RCTs and in implementing their results. PMID:26522427
Krebs, Teri S; Johansen, Pål-Ørjan
Assessments of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the treatment of alcoholism have not been based on quantitative meta-analysis. Hence, we performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in order to evaluate the clinical efficacy of LSD in the treatment of alcoholism. Two reviewers independently extracted the data, pooling the effects using odds ratios (ORs) by a generic inverse variance, random effects model. We identified six eligible trials, including 536 participants. There was evidence for a beneficial effect of LSD on alcohol misuse (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.36-2.84; p = 0.0003). Between-trial heterogeneity for the treatment effects was negligible (I² = 0%). Secondary outcomes, risk of bias and limitations are discussed. A single dose of LSD, in the context of various alcoholism treatment programs, is associated with a decrease in alcohol misuse.
Al-Ayoubi, Adnan M; Flores, Raja M
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the USA. Within the past decade, two large trials (the National Lung Screening Trial Research and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program) confirmed a significant role for low-dose CT (LDCT) screening in identifying early stages of cancer leading to reduced mortality in high-risk patients. Given the evidence, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation in favour of LDCT screening for high-risk individuals. Despite the strong support for LDCT among physicians who treat lung cancer and cumulative data demonstrating a survival benefit for screening and early detection, it took more than a decade for lung cancer screening to be embraced at the policy level. With many lives lost in the interim, did we really need a randomized controlled trial to make this decision?
... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (RCTs... constructive discussion and information-sharing about best practices in meta-analyses of clinical trial data... scientific approaches for the conduct and assessment of meta-analyses of randomized controlled...
Kramer, Arthur F.; McAuley, Edward
Contamination is commonly overlooked in randomized trials. The present study examined contamination (minutes of aerobic activity outside of exercise sessions) within an active control condition in a 6-month randomized exercise trial for older adults. We hypothesized that outside aerobic activity would be greater in the control condition compared to the intervention conditions. Participants (mean age = 65.06 years, 66.2% female) were randomly assigned to: Dance (n = 50), Walking, (n = 108), or Strength/Stretching/Stability (SSS; n = 48). Dance and Walking represented the experimental conditions and SSS the control condition. Participants attended exercise sessions three times weekly for 24 weeks. Participants recorded their physical activity outside of class on a weekly home log. Group assignment and covariates (age, gender, body mass index, exercise session intensity and enjoyment, and program adherence) were examined as predictors of weekly aerobic activity outside of exercise sessions. Participants who returned zero home logs were removed from the dataset (final N = 195). Out-of-class aerobic activity was lowest in the Walking group. Significant effects of gender, group, enjoyment, and intensity on out-of-class weekly aerobic activity were observed, all p<0.003. Higher perceived enjoyment of exercise sessions was associated with more out-of-class aerobic activity, while higher perceived intensity was associated with less out-of-class aerobic activity. A group x intensity interaction, p = 0.002, indicated that group differences in out-of-class aerobic activity were evident only among those with lower intensity perceptions. Walkers may have perceived exercise sessions as sufficient weekly exercise, while the Dance and SSS groups may have perceived the sessions as necessary, but insufficient. The lower aerobic intensity Dancers attributed to exercise sessions and non-aerobic nature of SSS may partially explain contamination observed in this study. Further
Krewer, Carmen; Luther, Marianne; Koenig, Eberhard; Müller, Friedemann
One major aim of the neurological rehabilitation of patients with severe disorders of consciousness (DOC) is to enhance patients’ arousal and ability to communicate. Mobilization into a standing position by means of a tilt table has been shown to improve their arousal and awareness. However, due to the frequent occurrence of syncopes on a tilt table, it is easier to accomplish verticalization using a tilt table with an integrated stepping device. The objective of this randomized controlled clinical trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of a tilt table therapy with or without an integrated stepping device on the level of consciousness. A total of 50 participants in vegetative or minimally conscious states 4 weeks to 6 month after injury were treated with verticalization during this randomized controlled trial. Interventions involved ten 1-hour sessions of the specific treatment over a 3-week period. Blinded assessors made measurements before and after the intervention period, as well as after a 3-week follow-up period. The coma recovery scale-revised (CRS-R) showed an improvement by a median of 2 points for the group receiving tilt table with integrated stepping (Erigo). The rate of recovery of the group receiving the conventional tilt table therapy significantly increased by 5 points during treatment and by an additional 2 points during the 3-week follow-up period. Changes in spasticity did not significantly differ between the two intervention groups. Compared to the conventional tilt table, the tilt table with integrated stepping device failed to have any additional benefit for DOC patients. Verticalization itself seems to be beneficial though and should be administered to patients in DOC in early rehabilitation. Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials Ltd (www.controlled-trials.com), identifier number ISRCTN72853718 PMID:26623651
Kraemer, Helena C.; Epstein, Robert S.; Frank, Ellen; Haynes, Ginger; Laughren, Thomas P.; Mcnulty, James; Reed, Shelby D.; Sanchez, Juan; Leon, Andrew C.
Objective: This article captures the proceedings of a meeting aimed at defining clinically meaningful effects for use in randomized controlled trials for psychopharmacological agents. Design: Experts from a variety of disciplines defined clinically meaningful effects from their perspectives along with viewpoints about how to design and interpret randomized controlled trials. Setting: The article offers relevant, practical, and sometimes anecdotal information about clinically meaningful effects and how to interpret them. Participants: The concept for this session was the work of co-chairs Richard Keefe and the late Andy Leon. Faculty included Richard Keefe, PhD; James McNulty, AbScB; Robert S. Epstein, MD, MS; Shelby D. Reed, PhD; Juan Sanchez, MD; Ginger Haynes, PhD; Andrew C. Leon, PhD; Helena Chmura Kraemer, PhD; Ellen Frank, PhD, and Kenneth L. Davis, MD. Results: The term clinically meaningful effect is an important aspect of designing and interpreting randomized controlled trials but can be particularly difficult in the setting of psychopharmacology where effect size may be modest, particularly over the short term, because of a strong response to placebo. Payers, regulators, patients, and clinicians have different concerns about clinically meaningful effects and may describe these terms differently. The use of moderators in success rate differences may help better delineate clinically meaningful effects. Conclusion: There is no clear consensus on a single definition for clinically meaningful differences in randomized controlled trials, and investigators must be sensitive to specific concerns of stakeholders in psychopharmacology in order to design and execute appropriate clinical trials. PMID:23882433
Farr, B M; Conner, E M; Betts, R F; Oleske, J; Minnefor, A; Gwaltney, J M
The therapeutic efficacy of zinc gluconate lozenge therapy in experimentally induced rhinovirus infection was assessed in two randomized controlled trials in susceptible adult volunteers. In trial 1, lozenges containing either zinc gluconate (23 mg of elemental zinc) or placebo were given 36 h after nasal inoculation of rhinovirus type 39 and administered eight times per day for 5 days. All of the volunteers had early cold symptoms at the time that treatment was begun. In trial 2, the same lozenge regimen was used, beginning 2 h after nasal inoculation with rhinovirus type 13, and continued for 7 days. Zinc therapy did not reduce the severity or duration of cold symptoms or the frequency or duration of viral shedding in either trial. Viral titers were measured in trial 2 and were shown to be unaffected by zinc therapy. Nasal mucus weights and the numbers of paper tissues used were slightly higher in zinc recipients. A statistically significant increase in levels of zinc in serum was documented in zinc recipients after 5 days of therapy. These data suggest that zinc gluconate lozenge therapy is not therapeutically useful in the treatment of rhinovirus colds. PMID:2820298
Background In spite of recent advances in post-operative pain relief, pain following orthopedic surgery remains an ongoing challenge for clinicians. We examined whether a well known and frequently prescribed homeopathic preparation could mitigate post-operative pain. Method We performed a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the homeopathic preparation Traumeel S® in minimizing post-operative pain and analgesic consumption following surgical correction of hallux valgus. Eighty consecutive patients were randomized to receive either Traumeel tablets or an indistinguishable placebo, and took primary and rescue oral analgesics as needed. Maximum numerical pain scores at rest and consumption of oral analgesics were recorded on day of surgery and for 13 days following surgery. Results Traumeel was not found superior to placebo in minimizing pain or analgesic consumption over the 14 days of the trial, however a transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score favoring the Traumeel arm was observed on the day of surgery, a finding supported by a treatment-time interaction test (p = 0.04). Conclusions Traumeel was not superior to placebo in minimizing pain or analgesic consumption over the 14 days of the trial. A transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score on the day of surgery is of questionable clinical importance. Trial Registration This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov. # NCT00279513 PMID:20380750
Treurnicht Naylor, Karline; Kingsnorth, Shauna; Lamont, Andrea; McKeever, Patricia; Macarthur, Colin
The aim of this study was to systematically review the effectiveness of music on pediatric health-related outcomes. Five electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled/crossover trial designs published between 1984 and 2009. Eligible studies used music as a therapy or intervention, included participants 1 to 18 years, and focused on at least one health-related outcome (with the exclusion of procedural pain). Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. Quantitative synthesis was hampered by an inability to aggregate data arising from heterogeneity of interventions, outcomes and measurement tools. Qualitative synthesis revealed significant improvements in one or more health outcomes within four of seven trials involving children with learning and developmental disorders; two of three trials involving children experiencing stressful life events; and four of five trials involving children with acute and/or chronic physical illness. No significant effects were found for two trials involving children with mood disorders and related psychopathology. These findings offer limited qualitative evidence to support the effectiveness of music on health-related outcomes for children and adolescents with clinical diagnoses. Recommendations for establishing a consensus on research priorities and addressing methodological limitations are put forth to support the continued advancement of this popular intervention. PMID:20976017
Boutron, Isabelle; Estellat, Candice; Guittet, Lydia; Dechartres, Agnes; Sackett, David L; Hróbjartsson, Asbjørn; Ravaud, Philippe
Background Blinding is a cornerstone of therapeutic evaluation because lack of blinding can bias treatment effect estimates. An inventory of the blinding methods would help trialists conduct high-quality clinical trials and readers appraise the quality of results of published trials. We aimed to systematically classify and describe methods to establish and maintain blinding of patients and health care providers and methods to obtain blinding of outcome assessors in randomized controlled trials of pharmacologic treatments. Methods and Findings We undertook a systematic review of all reports of randomized controlled trials assessing pharmacologic treatments with blinding published in 2004 in high impact-factor journals from Medline and the Cochrane Methodology Register. We used a standardized data collection form to extract data. The blinding methods were classified according to whether they primarily (1) established blinding of patients or health care providers, (2) maintained the blinding of patients or health care providers, and (3) obtained blinding of assessors of the main outcomes. We identified 819 articles, with 472 (58%) describing the method of blinding. Methods to establish blinding of patients and/or health care providers concerned mainly treatments provided in identical form, specific methods to mask some characteristics of the treatments (e.g., added flavor or opaque coverage), or use of double dummy procedures or simulation of an injection. Methods to avoid unblinding of patients and/or health care providers involved use of active placebo, centralized assessment of side effects, patients informed only in part about the potential side effects of each treatment, centralized adapted dosage, or provision of sham results of complementary investigations. The methods reported for blinding outcome assessors mainly relied on a centralized assessment of complementary investigations, clinical examination (i.e., use of video, audiotape, or photography), or
Background Cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis has been a prominent intervention in the psychological treatment of psychosis. It is, however, a challenging therapy to deliver and, in the context of increasingly rigorous trials, recent reviews have tempered initial enthusiasm about its effectiveness in improving clinical outcomes. Acceptance and commitment therapy shows promise as a briefer, more easily implemented therapy but has not yet been rigorously evaluated in the context of psychosis. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate whether Acceptance and Commitment Therapy could reduce the distress and disability associated with psychotic symptoms in a sample of community-residing patients with chronic medication-resistant symptoms. Methods/Design This is a single (rater)-blind multi-centre randomised controlled trial comparing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with an active comparison condition, Befriending. Eligible participants have current residual hallucinations or delusions with associated distress or disability which have been present continuously over the past six months despite therapeutic doses of antipsychotic medication. Following baseline assessment, participants are randomly allocated to treatment condition with blinded, post-treatment assessments conducted at the end of treatment and at 6 months follow-up. The primary outcome is overall mental state as measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Secondary outcomes include preoccupation, conviction, distress and disruption to life associated with symptoms as measured by the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales, as well as social functioning and service utilisation. The main analyses will be by intention-to-treat using mixed-model repeated measures with non-parametric methods employed if required. The model of change underpinning ACT will be tested using mediation analyses. Discussion This protocol describes the first randomised controlled trial of Acceptance and commitment therapy in
Cogo, Elise; Sampson, Margaret; Ajiferuke, Isola; Manheimer, Eric; Campbell, Kaitryn; Daniel, Raymond; Moher, David
This project aims to assess the utility of bibliographic databases beyond the three major ones (MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL) for finding controlled trials of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Fifteen databases were searched to identify controlled clinical trials (CCTs) of CAM not also indexed in MEDLINE. Searches were conducted in May 2006 using the revised Cochrane highly sensitive search strategy (HSSS) and the PubMed CAM Subset. Yield of CAM trials per 100 records was determined, and databases were compared over a standardized period (2005). The Acudoc2 RCT, Acubriefs, Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) and Hom-Inform databases had the highest concentrations of non-MEDLINE records, with more than 100 non-MEDLINE records per 500. Other productive databases had ratios between 500 and 1500 records to 100 non-MEDLINE records—these were AMED, MANTIS, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Global Health and Alt HealthWatch. Five databases were found to be unproductive: AGRICOLA, CAIRSS, Datadiwan, Herb Research Foundation and IBIDS. Acudoc2 RCT yielded 100 CAM trials in the most recent 100 records screened. Acubriefs, AMED, Hom-Inform, MANTIS, PsycINFO and CINAHL had more than 25 CAM trials per 100 records screened. Global Health, ICL and Alt HealthWatch were below 25 in yield. There were 255 non-MEDLINE trials from eight databases in 2005, with only 10% indexed in more than one database. Yield varied greatly between databases; the most productive databases from both sampling methods were Acubriefs, Acudoc2 RCT, AMED and CINAHL. Low overlap between databases indicates comprehensive CAM literature searches will require multiple databases. PMID:19468052
Khorsan, Raheleh; Coulter, Ian D.; Crawford, Cindy; Hsiao, An-Fu
A systematic review was conducted to assess the level of evidence for integrative health care research. We searched PubMed, Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED), BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, the entire Cochrane Library, MANTIS, Social SciSearch, SciSearch Cited Ref Sci, PsychInfo, CINAHL, and NCCAM grantee publications listings, from database inception to May 2009, as well as searches of the “gray literature.” Available studies published in English language were included. Three independent reviewers rated each article and assessed the methodological quality of studies using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN 50). Our search yielded 11,891 total citations but 6 clinical studies, including 4 randomized, met our inclusion criteria. There are no available systematic reviews/meta-analyses published that met our inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed independently using quality checklists of the SIGN 50. Only a small number of RCTs and CCTs with a limited number of patients and lack of adequate control groups assessing integrative health care research are available. These studies provide limited evidence of effective integrative health care on some modalities. However, integrative health care regimen appears to be generally safe. PMID:20953383
Background Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is increased in individuals with severe mental illnesses. We set out to establish a multicentre, two arm, parallel cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a health promotion intervention (HPI), IMPACT Therapy. The patient-tailored IMPACT Therapy aims to target one or more health behaviours from a pre-defined list that includes cannabis use; alcohol use; other substance use; cigarette smoking; exercise; diet and diabetic control, prioritising those identified as problematic by the patient, taking a motivational interviewing and CBT approach. Methods Impact therapy will be delivered by care coordinators in the community to the treatment group and will be compared to treatment as usual (TAU). The main hypothesis is that the addition of IMPACT Therapy (HPI) to TAU will be more effective than TAU alone in improving patients’ quality of life as measured by the Short Form-36, including mental health and physical health subscales on completion of the intervention at 12 months post randomisation. A subsidiary hypothesis will be that addition of IMPACT Therapy (HPI) will be more cost-effective than TAU alone in improving health in people with SMI 12 months from baseline. The IMPACT therapy patient groups’ improvement in quality of life, as well as its cost effectiveness, is hypothesised to be maintained at 15 months. Outcomes will be analyzed on an intention-to-treat (ITT) basis. Discussion The results of the trial will provide information about the effectiveness of the IMPACT therapy programme in supporting community mental health teams to address physical comorbidity in severe mental illness. Trial registration ISRCTN58667926. PMID:24131496
Miziara, Luiz Eduardo de Paula Gomes; Simoni, Ricardo Francisco; Esteves, Luís Otávio; Cangiani, Luis Henrique; Grillo-Filho, Gil Fernando Ribeiro; Paula, Anderson Garcia Lima e
Aim. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of continuous intraoperative infusion of S(+)-ketamine under intravenous anesthesia with target-controlled infusion of remifentanil and propofol for postoperative pain control. Methods. Forty-eight patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were assigned to receive continuous S(+)-ketamine infusion at a rate of 0.3 mg·kg−1·h−1 (n = 24, intervention group) or an equivalent volume of saline at the same rate (n = 24, placebo group). The same target-controlled intravenous anesthesia was induced in both groups. Pain was assessed using a 0 to 10 verbal numeric rating scale during the first 12 postoperative hours. Pain scores and morphine consumption were recorded in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) and at 4 and 12 hours after surgery. Results. Pain scores were lower in the intervention group at all time points. Morphine consumption did not differ significantly between groups during PACU stay, but it was significantly lower in the intervention group at each time point after PACU discharge (P = 0.0061). At 12 hours after surgery, cumulative morphine consumption was also lower in the intervention group (5.200 ± 2.707) than in the placebo group (7.525 ± 1.872). Conclusions. Continuous S(+)-ketamine infusion during laparoscopic cholecystectomy under target-controlled intravenous anesthesia provided better postoperative pain control than placebo, reducing morphine requirement. Trial Registration. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02421913. PMID:26949390
Steiss, J E; White, N A; Bowen, J M
Electroacupuncture was used to treat lameness in horses and ponies with chronic laminitis (n = 10) or navicular disease (n = 10). A clinical trial was conducted with random allocation of equal numbers of animals to control and treatment groups. Acupuncture was performed three times per week for four consecutive weeks. The degree of lameness was assessed by 1) a grading scheme, 2) measurement of stride lengths and 3) analysis of weight distribution using a force plate. Although seven out of ten animals with chronic laminitis improved clinically during the trial, there were no statistically significant differences between treatment and control groups. Six out of ten horses with navicular disease improved, but there were no significant differences between treatment and control groups. PMID:2653599
Saadatmand, Vahid; Rejeh, Nahid; Heravi-Karimooi, Majideh; Tadrisi, Sayed Davood; Vaismoradi, Mojtaba; Jordan, Sue
Nonpharmacologic pain management in patients receiving mechanical ventilation support in critical care units is under investigated. Natural sounds may help reduce the potentially harmful effects of anxiety and pain in hospitalized patients. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of pleasant, natural sounds on self-reported pain in patients receiving mechanical ventilation support, using a pragmatic parallel-arm, randomized controlled trial. The study was conducted in a general adult intensive care unit of a high-turnover teaching hospital, in Tehran, Iran. Between October 2011 and June 2012, we recruited 60 patients receiving mechanical ventilation support to the intervention (n = 30) and control arms (n = 30) of a pragmatic parallel-group, randomized controlled trial. Participants in both arms wore headphones for 90 minutes. Those in the intervention arm heard pleasant, natural sounds, whereas those in the control arm heard nothing. Outcome measures included the self-reported visual analog scale for pain at baseline; 30, 60, and 90 minutes into the intervention; and 30 minutes post-intervention. All patients approached agreed to participate. The trial arms were similar at baseline. Pain scores in the intervention arm fell and were significantly lower than in the control arm at each time point (p < .05). Administration of pleasant, natural sounds via headphones is a simple, safe, nonpharmacologic nursing intervention that may be used to allay pain for up to 120 minutes in patients receiving mechanical ventilation support.
Pagoto, Sherry; McDermott, Mary M.; Reed, George; Greenland, Philip; Mazor, Kathy M.; Ockene, Judith K.; Whited, Matt; Schneider, Kristin; Appelhans, Brad; Leung, Kathy; Merriam, Philip; Ockene, Ira
Objective Attention control conditions are used to balance nonspecific attention in randomized trials of behavioral interventions. Very little guidance is available in the literature about which behavioral interventions and outcomes merit an attention control. The primary aim of the present paper is to demonstrate a scenario in which use of attention control in a behavioral randomized trial was unnecessary and possibly detrimental. Methods Exploratory analyses were performed in a randomized controlled trial that tested whether a patient-centered telephone counseling (PC) intervention reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in 355 participants with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), compared to attention control (AC) and usual care (UC) conditions. The PC intervention was designed to activate participants to ask their physician for lipid-lowering medication and/or increase dose intensity, increase medication adherence, and reduce fat intake. The AC condition involved attention-matched phone-delivered health education, and the UC condition consisted of an educational pamphlet. Results At 12-month follow-up, mean LDL-C changes were −11.1, and −6.8 mg/dl in the UC and AC conditions, respectively (p=.17). The proportion of participants who increased use or dose intensity of medication was significantly lower in AC than UC, 17.5% versus 30.5% (p=0.03). No significant difference between AC and UC were observed on other outcomes. Conclusions The AC had significantly worse medication outcomes and there was no indication of a therapeutic effect on other endpoints. Implications for use of attention control in behavioral randomized trials are discussed. PMID:23197844
Canter, Peter H; Ernst, Edzard
It is claimed that regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) improves cognitive function and increases intelligence. This systematic review assesses the evidence from randomised controlled trials for cumulative effects of TM on cognitive function. Searches were made of electronic databases and the collected papers and official websites of the TM organisation. Only randomised controlled trials with objective outcome measures of the cumulative effects of TM on cognitive function were included. Trials that measured only acute effects of TM, or used only neurophysiological outcome measures were excluded. 107 articles reporting the effects of TM on cognitive function were identified and 10 met the inclusion criteria. Most were excluded because they used no controls or did not randomize subjects between interventions. Of the 10 trials included, 4 reported large positive effects of TM on cognitive function, four were completely negative, and 2 were largely negative in outcome. All 4 positive trials recruited subjects from among people favourably predisposed towards TM, and used passive control procedures. The other 6 trials recruited subjects with no specific interest in TM, and 5 of them used structured control procedures. The association observed between positive outcome, subject selection procedure and control procedure suggests that the large positive effects reported in 4 trials result from an expectation effect. The claim that TM has a specific and cumulative effect on cognitive function is not supported by the evidence from randomised controlled trials.
Background With an increasing research focus on multiple health behaviour change interventions, a methodological issue requiring further investigation is whether or not to employ pre-trial behavioural screening to exclude participants who are achieving a pre-specified level of one or more behaviours. Behavioural screening can be used to direct limited resources to participants most in need of a behaviour change intervention; but may reduce the representativeness of the sample and limit comparability with trials that do not employ pre-trial behavioural screening. Furthermore, the impact of this type of screening on intervention participation and intervention effects is unknown. Methods Data for this study come from the Logan Healthy Living Program, a randomised, controlled telephone counselling lifestyle intervention trial which did not employ behavioural screening prior to randomisation. Screening for physical activity, diet or the combination was simulated using baseline trial data. To examine the impact of behavioural screening on intervention participation (in terms of participant characteristics, intervention dose received and retention), characteristics of participants included an excluded under the various screening scenarios were compared. To examine the impact of behavioural screening on intervention effects, results from the main trial analysis were compared with results obtained from the same analyses performed separately for each of the screened groups. Results Simulated pre-trial behavioural screening impacted minimally on intervention dose received and trial retention rate. Beyond the anticipated effect of reducing baseline levels of the behaviours being screened for, behavioural screening affected baseline levels of behaviours not targeted by screening, and participants' demographic and health-related characteristics. Behavioural screening impacted on intervention effects in ways that were anticipated and positive, but also unexpected and detrimental
Background Community engagement (CE) is increasingly promoted for biomedical research conducted in resource poor settings for both intrinsic and instrumental purposes. Given the potential importance of CE, but also complexities and possibility of unexpected negative outcomes, there is need for more documentation of CE processes in practice. We share experiences of formal CE for a paediatric randomized controlled malaria vaccine trial conducted in three sites within Kilifi County, Kenya. Methods Social scientists independent of the trial held in-depth individual interviews with trial researchers (n = 5), community leaders (n = 8) and parents (15 with enrolled children and 4 without); and group discussions with fieldworkers (n = 6) and facility staff (n = 2). We conducted a survey of participating households (n = 200) and observed over 150 CE activities. Results The overall CE plan was similar across the three study sites, although less community-based information in site C. Majority perceived CE activities to clear pre-existing concerns and misconceptions; increase visibility, awareness of and trust in trial staff. Challenges included: some community leaders attempting to exert pressure on people to enrol; local wording in information sheets and consent forms feeding into serious anxieties about the trial; and concerns about reduced CE over time. Negative effects of these challenges were mitigated through changes to on-going CE activities, and final information sharing and consent being conducted individually by trained clinical staff. One year after enrolment, 31% (n = 62) of participants’ parents reported malaria prevention as the main aim of the activities their children were involved in, and 93% wanted their children to remain involved. Conclusion The trial teams’ goals for CE were relatively clear from the outset. Other actors’ hopes and expectations (like higher allowances and future employment) were not openly discussed, but emerged
Kramer, C K; Leitão, C B; Pinto, L C; Canani, L H; Azevedo, M J; Gross, J L
Topiramate was associated with weight loss in clinical trials. We summarize the evidence on the efficacy and safety of topiramate in the treatment of overweight/obesity. The databases Medline, Embase, and Cochrane were searched. Randomized controlled studies with at least 16 weeks of duration that report the effect of topiramate on weight loss and adverse events were eligible for inclusion. Ten studies were included (3320 individuals). Patients treated with topiramate lost an average of 5.34 kg (95% confidence interval [95%CI]-6.12 to -4.56) of additional weight as compared with placebo. According to meta-regression analysis, treatment duration and dosage were associated with the efficacy of topiramate treatment. Evaluating trials using topiramate 96-200 mg day(-1) , the weight loss was higher in trials with >28 weeks of duration (-6.58 kg [95%CI -7.48 to -5.68]) than in trials with ≤28 weeks (-4.11 kg [95%CI -4.92 to -3.30]). Data of 6620 individuals were available for adverse events evaluation and those more frequently observed were paraesthesia, taste impairment and psychomotor disturbances. The odds ratio for adverse events leading to topiramate withdrawal was 1.94 (95%CI 1.64-2.29) compared with the control group. In conclusion, topiramate might be a useful adjunctive therapeutic tool in the treatment of obesity as long as proper warnings about side effects are considered. PMID:21438989
Bacigalupo, R; Cudd, P; Littlewood, C; Bissell, P; Hawley, M S; Buckley Woods, H
Summary Obesity is a global epidemic with major healthcare implications and costs. Mobile technologies are potential interventions to promote weight loss. An early systematic review of this rapidly growing area of research was conducted. Electronic databases were searched for articles published between January 1998 and October 2011. Data sources included Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Ongoing research was searched for using clinical trials databases and registers. Out of 174 articles retrieved, 21 met the inclusion criteria of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on mobile technology interventions facilitating weight loss in overweight and obese adults with any other comparator. A narrative synthesis was undertaken. Seven articles were included and appraised using the Cochrane risk of bias tool: four presented a low risk of bias and three presented a high risk of bias. There is consistent strong evidence across the included multiple high-quality RCTs that weight loss occurs in the short-term because of mobile technology interventions, with moderate evidence for the medium-term. Recommendations for improving the reporting and quality of future trials are made including reporting weight loss in percent to meet clinical standards, and including features such as long-term follow-up, cost-effectiveness and patient acceptability. PMID:23167478
Jang, Soobin; Jang, Bo-Hyoung; Ko, Youme; Sasaki, Yui; Park, Jeong-Su; Hwang, Eui-Hyoung; Song, Yun-Kyung; Shin, Yong-Cheol; Ko, Seong-Gyu
Objective. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines in the management of metabolic syndrome. Materials and Methods. On December 9, 2015, we searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, AMED, CNKI, KoreaMed, KMBASE, OASIS, and J-STAGE with no restriction on language or published year. We selected randomized controlled trials that involved patients with metabolic syndrome being treated with herbal medicines as intervention. The main keywords were "Chinese herbal medicines", "metabolic syndrome", and "randomized controlled trials". Herbal substances which were not based on East Asian medical theory, combination therapy with western medicines, and concurrent diseases other than metabolic syndrome were excluded. The risk of bias was assessed by Cochrane's "Risk of Bias" tool. The protocol or review was registered in PROSPERO (an international prospective register of systematic reviews) (CRD42014006842). Results. From 1,098 articles, 12 RCTs were included in this review: five trials studied herbal medicines versus a placebo or no treatment, and seven trials studied herbal medicines versus western medicines. Herbal medicines were effective on decreasing waist circumference, blood glucose, blood lipids, and blood pressure. Conclusion. This study suggests the possibility that herbal medicines can be complementary and alternative medicines for metabolic syndrome. PMID:27413388
Background Insomnia is a widespread human health problem, but there currently are the limitations of conventional therapies available. Suanzaoren decoction (SZRD) is a well known classic Chinese herbal prescription for insomnia and has been treating people’s insomnia for more than thousand years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SZRD for insomnia. Methods A systematic literature search was performed for 6 databases up to July of 2012 to identify randomized control trials (RCTs) involving SZRD for insomniac patients. The methodological quality of RCTs was assessed independently using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Results Twelve RCTs with total of 1376 adult participants were identified. The methodological quality of all included trials are no more than 3/8 score. Majority of the RCTs concluded that SZRD was more significantly effective than benzodiazepines for treating insomnia. Despite these positive outcomes, there were many methodological shortcomings in the studies reviewed, including insufficient information about randomization generation and absence of allocation concealment, lack of blinding and no placebo control, absence of intention-to-treat analysis and lack of follow-ups, selective publishing and reporting, and small number of sample sizes. A number of clinical heterogeneity such as diagnosis, intervention, control, and outcome measures were also reviewed. Only 3 trials reported adverse events, whereas the other 9 trials did not provide the safety information. Conclusions Despite the apparent reported positive findings, there is insufficient evidence to support efficacy of SZRD for insomnia due to the poor methodological quality and the small number of trials of the included studies. SZRD seems generally safe, but is insufficient evidence to make conclusions on the safety because fewer studies reported the adverse events. Further large sample-size and well-designed RCTs are needed
Background Teaching people with epilepsy to identify and manage seizure triggers, implement strategies to remember to take antiepileptic drugs, implement precautions to minimize risks during seizures, tell others what to do during a seizure and learn what to do during recovery may lead to better self-management. No teaching programme exists for adults with epilepsy in the United Kingdom although a number of surveys have shown patients want more information. Methods/Design This is a multicentre, pragmatic, parallel group randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a two-day Self-Management education for epILEpsy (SMILE (UK)), which was originally developed in Germany (MOSES). Four hundred and twenty eight adult patients who attended specialist epilepsy outpatient clinics at 15 NHS participating sites in the previous 12 months, and who fulfil other eligibility criteria will be randomised to receive the intervention (SMILE (UK) course with treatment as usual- TAU) or to have TAU only (control). The primary outcome is the effect on patient reported quality of life (QoL). Secondary outcomes are seizure frequency and psychological distress (anxiety and depression), perceived impact of epilepsy, adherence to medication, management of adverse effects from medication, and improved self-efficacy in management (mastery/control) of epilepsy. Within the trial there will be a nested qualitative study to explore users’ views of the intervention, including barriers to participation and the perceived benefits of the intervention. The cost-effectiveness of the intervention will also be assessed. Discussion This study will provide quantitative and qualitative evidence of the impact of a structured self management programme on quality of life and other aspects of clinical and cost effectiveness in adults with poorly controlled epilepsy. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN57937389. PMID:24694207
McDermid, Nancy Gossage; Timmis, John H., III
The rhetorical criticism of the Patricia Hearst trial published in this quarterly journal consists of two articles written before a verdict was reached. The first, "Closing Arguments in the Patricia Hearst Trial," by Nancy Gossage McDermid, reflects the author's perception of stylistic and substantive differences between the arguments of the…
Offenbacher, Steven; Beck, James D.; Jared, Heather L.; Mauriello, Sally M.; Mendoza, Luisto C.; Couper, David J.; Stewart, Dawn D.; Murtha, Amy P.; Cochran, David L.; Dudley, Donald J.; Reddy, Michael S.; Geurs, Nicolaas C.; Hauth, John C.
OBJECTIVE To test the effects of maternal periodontal disease treatment on the incidence of preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks of gestation). METHODS The Maternal Oral Therapy to Reduce Obstetric Risk Study was a randomized, treatment-masked, controlled clinical trial of pregnant women with periodontal disease who were receiving standard obstetric care. Participants were assigned to either a periodontal treatment arm, consisting of scaling and root planing early in the second trimester, or a delayed treatment arm that provided periodontal care after delivery. Pregnancy and maternal periodontal status were followed to delivery and neonatal outcomes until discharge. The primary outcome (gestational age less than 37 weeks) and the secondary outcome (gestational age less than 35 weeks) were analyzed using a χ2 test of equality of two proportions. RESULTS The study randomized 1,806 patients at three performance sites and completed 1,760 evaluable patients. At baseline, there were no differences comparing the treatment and control arms for any of the periodontal or obstetric measures. The rate of preterm delivery for the treatment group was 13.1% and 11.5% for the control group (P=.316). There were no significant differences when comparing women in the treatment group with those in the control group with regard to the adverse event rate or the major obstetric and neonatal outcomes. CONCLUSION Periodontal therapy did not reduce the incidence of preterm delivery. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00097656. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE I PMID:19701034
Western, J. Sylvia; Dicksit, Daniel Devaprakash
Aim of this Study: The aim was to evaluate the efficiency of different sterilization methods on extracted human teeth (EHT) by a systematic review of in vitro randomized controlled trials. Methodology: An extensive electronic database literature search concerning the sterilization of EHT was conducted. The search terms used were “human teeth, sterilization, disinfection, randomized controlled trials, and infection control.” Randomized controlled trials which aim at comparing the efficiency of different methods of sterilization of EHT were all included in this systematic review. Results: Out of 1618 articles obtained, eight articles were selected for this systematic review. The sterilization methods reviewed were autoclaving, 10% formalin, 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, 3% hydrogen peroxide, 2% glutaraldehyde, 0.1% thymol, and boiling to 100°C. Data were extracted from the selected individual studies and their findings were summarized. Conclusion: Autoclaving and 10% formalin can be considered as 100% efficient and reliable methods. While the use of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, 3% hydrogen peroxide, 2% glutaraldehyde, 0.1% thymol, and boiling to 100°C was inefficient and unreliable methods of sterilization of EHT. PMID:27563183
Innes, Kim E.; Selfe, Terry Kit
A growing body of evidence suggests yogic practices may benefit adults with type 2 diabetes (DM2). In this systematic review, we evaluate available evidence from prospective controlled trials regarding the effects of yoga-based programs on specific health outcomes pertinent to DM2 management. To identify qualifying studies, we searched nine databases and scanned bibliographies of relevant review papers and all identified articles. Controlled trials that did not target adults with diabetes, included only adults with type 1 diabetes, were under two-week duration, or did not include quantitative outcome data were excluded. Study quality was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Thirty-three papers reporting findings from 25 controlled trials (13 nonrandomized, 12 randomized) met our inclusion criteria (N = 2170 participants). Collectively, findings suggest that yogic practices may promote significant improvements in several indices of importance in DM2 management, including glycemic control, lipid levels, and body composition. More limited data suggest that yoga may also lower oxidative stress and blood pressure; enhance pulmonary and autonomic function, mood, sleep, and quality of life; and reduce medication use in adults with DM2. However, given the methodological limitations of existing studies, additional high-quality investigations are required to confirm and further elucidate the potential benefits of yoga programs in populations with DM2. PMID:26788520
Guo, Zhihong; Li, Wei; Peng, Mao; Duo, Hong; Shen, Xiuying; Fu, Yong; Irie, Takao; Gan, Tiantian; Kirino, Yumi; Nasu, Tetsuo; Horii, Yoichiro; Nonaka, Nariaki
An epidemiological study and control trial were conducted to assess taeniid infection in farm dogs in Qinghai Province, China. To improve egg detection by fecal examination, a deworming step with praziquantel was incorporated into the sampling methodology. As a result, a marked increase in the number of egg-positive samples was observed in samples collected at 24 hr after deworming. Then, the fecal examination and barcoding of egg DNA were performed to assess the prevalence of taeniid species in dogs from Xinghai, Haiyan, Gangcha and Chengduo counties. Analysis of 277 dog feces revealed that taeniid cestodes, including Taenia spp. and Echinococcus granulosus, were highly prevalent in Xinghai (34.4%), but eggs were not found in Haiyan where a control trial on canine echinococcosis had been conducted 20 years previously. A control trial involving the administration of 5-10 mg/kg praziquantel to 90 farm dogs at 45-day intervals was conducted in Xinghai. The prevalence of taeniid cestodes in the dogs was reduced to 9.6% and 4.9% after one and two years, respectively, indicating that some dogs were not administered praziquantel properly. A questionnaire survey of farmers in Xinghai and Haiyan revealed that most farmers in Xinghai were not familiar with echinococcosis or the transmission route of the disease, while most farmers in Haiyan had a more thorough understanding of the disease. The findings implied that a program for educating local farmers would be important for efficiently controlling canine taeniid infection in the region.
Innes, Kim E; Selfe, Terry Kit
A growing body of evidence suggests yogic practices may benefit adults with type 2 diabetes (DM2). In this systematic review, we evaluate available evidence from prospective controlled trials regarding the effects of yoga-based programs on specific health outcomes pertinent to DM2 management. To identify qualifying studies, we searched nine databases and scanned bibliographies of relevant review papers and all identified articles. Controlled trials that did not target adults with diabetes, included only adults with type 1 diabetes, were under two-week duration, or did not include quantitative outcome data were excluded. Study quality was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Thirty-three papers reporting findings from 25 controlled trials (13 nonrandomized, 12 randomized) met our inclusion criteria (N = 2170 participants). Collectively, findings suggest that yogic practices may promote significant improvements in several indices of importance in DM2 management, including glycemic control, lipid levels, and body composition. More limited data suggest that yoga may also lower oxidative stress and blood pressure; enhance pulmonary and autonomic function, mood, sleep, and quality of life; and reduce medication use in adults with DM2. However, given the methodological limitations of existing studies, additional high-quality investigations are required to confirm and further elucidate the potential benefits of yoga programs in populations with DM2.
Innes, Kim E; Selfe, Terry Kit
A growing body of evidence suggests yogic practices may benefit adults with type 2 diabetes (DM2). In this systematic review, we evaluate available evidence from prospective controlled trials regarding the effects of yoga-based programs on specific health outcomes pertinent to DM2 management. To identify qualifying studies, we searched nine databases and scanned bibliographies of relevant review papers and all identified articles. Controlled trials that did not target adults with diabetes, included only adults with type 1 diabetes, were under two-week duration, or did not include quantitative outcome data were excluded. Study quality was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Thirty-three papers reporting findings from 25 controlled trials (13 nonrandomized, 12 randomized) met our inclusion criteria (N = 2170 participants). Collectively, findings suggest that yogic practices may promote significant improvements in several indices of importance in DM2 management, including glycemic control, lipid levels, and body composition. More limited data suggest that yoga may also lower oxidative stress and blood pressure; enhance pulmonary and autonomic function, mood, sleep, and quality of life; and reduce medication use in adults with DM2. However, given the methodological limitations of existing studies, additional high-quality investigations are required to confirm and further elucidate the potential benefits of yoga programs in populations with DM2. PMID:26788520
Background Up to 42% of all stroke patients do not get out of the house as much as they would like. This can impede a person’s quality of life. This study is testing the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a new outdoor mobility rehabilitation intervention by comparing it to usual care. Methods/design This is a multi-centre parallel group individually randomised, controlled trial. At least 506 participants will be recruited through 15 primary and secondary care settings and will be eligible if they are over 18 years of age, have had a stroke and wish to get out of the house more often. Participants are being randomly allocated to either the intervention group or the control group. Intervention group participants receive up to 12 rehabilitation outdoor mobility sessions over up to four months. The main component of the intervention is repeated practice of outdoor mobility with a therapist. Control group participants are receiving the usual intervention for outdoor mobility limitations: verbal advice and provision of leaflets provided over one session. Outcome measures are being collected using postal questionnaires, travel calendars and by independent assessors. The primary outcome measure is the Social Function domain of the SF36v2 quality of life assessment six months after recruitment. The secondary outcome measures include: functional ability, mobility, the number of journeys (monthly travel diaries), satisfaction with outdoor mobility, mood, health-related quality of life, resource use of health and social care. Carer mood information is also being collected. The mean Social Function score of the SF-36v2 will be compared between treatment arms using a multiple membership form of mixed effects multiple regression analysis adjusting for centre (as a fixed effect), age and baseline Social Function score as covariates and therapist as a multiple membership random effect. Regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals will be presented
Svarstad, Bonnie L; Kotchen, Jane Morley; Shireman, Theresa I; Crawford, Stephanie Y; Palmer, Pamela A; Vivian, Eva M; Brown, Roger L
Recent studies suggest that involving pharmacists is an effective strategy for improving patient adherence and blood pressure (BP) control. To date, few controlled studies have tested the cost-effectiveness of specific models for improving patient adherence and BP control in community pharmacies, where most Americans obtain prescriptions. We hypothesized that a team model of adherence monitoring and intervention in corporately owned community pharmacies can improve patient adherence, prescribing, and BP control among hypertensive black patients. The Team Education and Adherence Monitoring (TEAM) Trial is a randomized controlled trial testing a multistep intervention for improving adherence monitoring and intervention in 28 corporately owned community pharmacies. Patients in the 14 control pharmacies received "usual care," and patients in the 14 intervention pharmacies received TEAM Care by trained pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working with patients and physicians. Data collectors screened 1250 patients and enrolled 597 hypertensive black patients. The primary end points were the proportion of patients achieving BP control and reductions in systolic and diastolic BP measured after 6 and 12 months. Secondary end points were changes in adherence monitoring and intervention, patient adherence and barriers to adherence, prescribing, and cost-effectiveness. Researchers also will examine potential covariates and barriers to change. Involving pharmacists is a potentially powerful means of improving BP control in blacks. Pharmacists are in an excellent position to monitor patients between clinic visits and to provide useful information to patients and physicians. PMID:20031847
Patterson, Jae T.; Carter, Michael; Sanli, Elizabeth
The present experiment examined the learning effects of participants self-controlling their receipt of knowledge of results (KR) on all or half of their acquisition trials (50%). For participants who were provided 50% self-control, the first half of their acquisition period consisted of receiving KR on all trials, or according to a faded-KR…
Rushton, Alison; Goodwin, Peter C.
Objectives To evaluate: acceptability and feasibility of trial procedures; distribution of scores on the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ, planned primary outcome); and efficient working of trial components. Design and Setting A feasibility and external pilot randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN33808269, assigned 10/12/2012) was conducted across 2 UK secondary care outpatient physiotherapy departments associated with regional spinal surgery centres. Participants Consecutive consenting patients aged >18 years; post primary, single level, lumbar discectomy. Interventions Participants were randomised to either 1:1 physiotherapy outpatient management including patient leaflet, or patient leaflet alone. Main Outcome Measures Blinded assessments were made at 4 weeks post surgery (baseline) and 12 weeks post baseline (proposed primary end point). Secondary outcomes included: Global Perceived Effect, back/leg pain, straight leg raise, return to work/function, quality of life, fear avoidance, range of movement, medication, re-operation. Results At discharge, 110 (44%) eligible patients gave consent to be contacted. 59 (54%) patients were recruited. Loss to follow up was 39% at 12 weeks, with one site contributing 83% losses. Mean (SD) RMDQ was 10.07 (5.58) leaflet and 10.52 (5.94) physiotherapy/leaflet at baseline; and 5.37 (4.91) leaflet and 5.53 (4.49) physiotherapy/leaflet at 12 weeks. 5.1% zero scores at 12 weeks illustrated no floor effect. Sensitivity to change was assessed at 12 weeks with mean (SD) change -4.53 (6.41), 95%CI -7.61 to -1.44 for leaflet; and -6.18 (5.59), 95%CI -9.01 to -3.30 for physiotherapy/leaflet. RMDQ mean difference (95%CI) between change from baseline to twelve weeks was 1.65(-2.46 to 5.75). Mean difference (95%CI) between groups at 12 weeks was -0.16 (-3.36 to 3.04). Participant adherence with treatment was good. No adverse events were reported. Conclusions Both interventions were acceptable, and it is promising that they both
Zheng, Sean L; Chan, Fiona T; Maclean, Edd; Jayakumar, Shruti; Nabeebaccus, Adam A
Background Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) causes significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Current consensus guidelines reflect the neutral results from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Adequate trial reporting is a fundamental requirement before concluding on RCT intervention efficacy and is necessary for accurate meta-analysis and to provide insight into future trial design. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 statement provides a framework for complete trial reporting. Reporting quality of HFpEF RCTs has not been previously assessed, and this represents an important validation of reporting qualities to date. Objectives The aim was to systematically identify RCTs investigating the efficacy of pharmacological therapies in HFpEF and to assess the quality of reporting using the CONSORT 2010 statement. Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL databases were searched from January 1996 to November 2015, with RCTs assessing pharmacological therapies on clinical outcomes in HFpEF patients included. The quality of reporting was assessed against the CONSORT 2010 checklist. Results A total of 33 RCTs were included. The mean CONSORT score was 55.4% (SD 17.2%). The CONSORT score was strongly correlated with journal impact factor (r=0.53, p=0.003) and publication year (r=0.50, p=0.003). Articles published after the introduction of CONSORT 2010 statement had a significantly higher mean score compared with those published before (64% vs 50%, p=0.02). Conclusions Although the CONSORT score has increased with time, a significant proportion of HFpEF RCTs showed inadequate reporting standards. The level of adherence to CONSORT criteria could have an impact on the validity of trials and hence the interpretation of intervention efficacy. We recommend improving compliance with the CONSORT statement for future RCTs. PMID:27547434
Marangu, Diana; Kovacs, Stephanie; Walson, Judd; Bonhoeffer, Jan; Ortiz, Justin R.; John-Stewart, Grace; Horne, David J.
Introduction Wheeze is an important sign indicating a potentially severe adverse event in vaccine and drug trials, particularly in children. However, there are currently no consensus definitions of wheeze or associated respiratory compromise in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Objective To identify definitions and severity grading scales of wheeze as an adverse event in vaccine and drug RCTs enrolling children <5 years and to determine their diagnostic performance based on sensitivity, specificity and inter-observer agreement. Methods We performed a systematic review of electronic databases and reference lists with restrictions for trial settings, English language and publication date ≥ 1970. Wheeze definitions and severity grading were abstracted and ranked by a diagnostic certainty score based on sensitivity, specificity and inter-observer agreement. Results Of 1,205 articles identified using our broad search terms, we identified 58 eligible trials conducted in 38 countries, mainly in high-income settings. Vaccines made up the majority (90%) of interventions, particularly influenza vaccines (65%). Only 15 trials provided explicit definitions of wheeze. Of 24 studies that described severity, 11 described wheeze severity in the context of an explicit wheeze definition. The remaining 13 studies described wheeze severity where wheeze was defined as part of a respiratory illness or a wheeze equivalent. Wheeze descriptions were elicited from caregiver reports (14%), physical examination by a health worker (45%) or a combination (41%). There were 21/58 studies in which wheeze definitions included combined caregiver report and healthcare worker assessment. The use of these two methods appeared to have the highest combined sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion Standardized wheeze definitions and severity grading scales for use in pediatric vaccine or drug trials are lacking. Standardized definitions of wheeze are needed for assessment of possible adverse events as
Background Mobile technology offers the potential to deliver health-related interventions to individuals who would not otherwise present for in-person treatment. Text messaging (short message service, SMS), being the most ubiquitous form of mobile communication, is a promising method for reaching the most individuals. Objective The goal of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention program delivered through text messaging. Methods Adult participants (N=60, age range 18-52 years) took part in a single individual smoking cessation counseling session, and were then randomly assigned to receive either daily non-smoking related text messages (control condition) or the TXT-2-Quit (TXT) intervention. TXT consisted of automated smoking cessation messages tailored to individual’s stage of smoking cessation, specialized messages provided on-demand based on user requests for additional support, and a peer-to-peer social support network. Generalized estimating equation analysis was used to assess the primary outcome (7-day point-prevalence abstinence) using a 2 (treatment groups)×3 (time points) repeated measures design across three time points: 8 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Results Smoking cessation results showed an overall significant group difference in 7-day point prevalence abstinence across all follow-up time points. Individuals given the TXT intervention, with higher odds of 7-day point prevalence abstinence for the TXT group compared to the Mojo group (OR=4.52, 95% CI=1.24, 16.53). However, individual comparisons at each time point did not show significant between-group differences, likely due to reduced statistical power. Intervention feasibility was greatly improved by switching from traditional face-to-face recruitment methods (4.7% yield) to an online/remote strategy (41.7% yield). Conclusions Although this study was designed to develop and provide initial testing of the TXT-2-Quit system
Protocol for the saMS trial (supportive adjustment for multiple sclerosis): a randomized controlled trial comparing cognitive behavioral therapy to supportive listening for adjustment to multiple sclerosis
Background Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an incurable, chronic, potentially progressive and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. The disease produces a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms, which can have a profound impact including disrupting activities of daily living, employment, income, relationships, social and leisure activities, and life goals. Adjusting to the illness is therefore particularly challenging. This trial tests the effectiveness of a Cognitive Behavioural intervention compared to Supportive Listening to assist adjustment in the early stages of MS. Methods/Design This is a two arm randomized multi-centre parallel group controlled trial. 122 consenting participants who meet eligibility criteria will be randomly allocated to receive either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Supportive Listening. Eight one hour sessions of therapy (delivered over a period of 10 weeks) will be delivered by general nurses trained in both treatments. Self-report questionnaire data will be collected at baseline (0 weeks), mid-therapy (week 5 of therapy), post-therapy (15 weeks) and at six months (26 weeks) and twelve months (52 weeks) follow-up. Primary outcomes are distress and MS-related social and role impairment at twelve month follow-up. Analysis will also consider predictors and mechanisms of change during therapy. In-depth interviews to examine participants' experiences of the interventions will be conducted with a purposively sampled sub-set of the trial participants. An economic analysis will also take place. Discussion This trial is distinctive in its aims in that it aids adjustment to MS in a broad sense. It is not a treatment specifically for depression. Use of nurses as therapists makes the interventions potentially viable in terms of being rolled out in the NHS. The trial benefits from incorporating patient input in the development and evaluation stages. The trial will provide important information about the efficacy, cost
Andrade, Chittaranjan; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv
Religious traditions across the world display beliefs in healing through prayer. The healing powers of prayer have been examined in triple-blind, randomized controlled trials. We illustrate randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing, with one study in each of different categories of outcome. We provide a critical analysis of the scientific and philosophical dimensions of such research. Prayer has been reported to improve outcomes in human as well as nonhuman species, to have no effect on outcomes, to worsen outcomes and to have retrospective healing effects. For a multitude of reasons, research on the healing effects of prayer is riddled with assumptions, challenges and contradictions that make the subject a scientific and religious minefield. We believe that the research has led nowhere, and that future research, if any, will forever be constrained by the scientific limitations that we outline.
Andrade, Chittaranjan; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv
Religious traditions across the world display beliefs in healing through prayer. The healing powers of prayer have been examined in triple-blind, randomized controlled trials. We illustrate randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing, with one study in each of different categories of outcome. We provide a critical analysis of the scientific and philosophical dimensions of such research. Prayer has been reported to improve outcomes in human as well as nonhuman species, to have no effect on outcomes, to worsen outcomes and to have retrospective healing effects. For a multitude of reasons, research on the healing effects of prayer is riddled with assumptions, challenges and contradictions that make the subject a scientific and religious minefield. We believe that the research has led nowhere, and that future research, if any, will forever be constrained by the scientific limitations that we outline. PMID:20048448
Leventhal, Katherine Sachs; Gillham, Jane; DeMaria, Lisa; Andrew, Gracy; Peabody, John; Leventhal, Steve
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a 5-month resilience-based program (Girls First Resilience Curriculum or RC) among 2308 rural adolescent girls at 57 government schools in Bihar, India. Local women with at least a 10th grade education served as group facilitators. Girls receiving RC improved more (vs. controls) on emotional resilience, self-efficacy, social-emotional assets, psychological wellbeing, and social wellbeing. Effects were not detected on depression. There was a small, statistically significant negative effect on anxiety (though not likely clinically significant). Results suggest psychosocial assets and wellbeing can be improved for girls in high-poverty, rural schools through a brief school-day program. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest developing country trials of a resilience-based school-day curriculum for adolescents. PMID:26547145
Leventhal, Katherine Sachs; Gillham, Jane; DeMaria, Lisa; Andrew, Gracy; Peabody, John; Leventhal, Steve
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a 5-month resilience-based program (Girls First Resilience Curriculum or RC) among 2308 rural adolescent girls at 57 government schools in Bihar, India. Local women with at least a 10th grade education served as group facilitators. Girls receiving RC improved more (vs. controls) on emotional resilience, self-efficacy, social-emotional assets, psychological wellbeing, and social wellbeing. Effects were not detected on depression. There was a small, statistically significant negative effect on anxiety (though not likely clinically significant). Results suggest psychosocial assets and wellbeing can be improved for girls in high-poverty, rural schools through a brief school-day program. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest developing country trials of a resilience-based school-day curriculum for adolescents.
Khademian, Majid; Farhangpajouh, Neda; Shahsanaee, Armindokht; Bahreynian, Maryam; Mirshamsi, Mehran; Kelishadi, Roya
Objectives: This study aims to assess the effects of zinc supplementation on improving the appetite and its subscales in children. Methods: This study was conducted in 2013 in Isfahan, Iran. It had two phases. At the first step, after validation of the Child Eating Behaviour Questionaire (CEBQ), it was completed for 300 preschool children, who were randomly selected. The second phase was conducted as a randomized controlled trial. Eighty of these children were randomly selected, and were randomly assigned to two groups of equal number receiving zinc (10 mg/day) or placebo for 12 weeks. Results: Overall 77 children completed the trial (39 in the case and 3 in the control group).The results showed that zinc supplement can improve calorie intake in children by affecting some CEBQ subscales like Emotional over Eating and Food Responsible. Conclusion: Zinc supplementation had positive impact in promoting the calorie intake and some subscales of anorexia. PMID:25674110
Hutchison, Colin A; Cook, Mark; Heyne, Nils; Weisel, Katja; Billingham, Lucinda; Bradwell, Arthur; Cockwell, Paul
Background Renal failure is a frequent complication of multiple myeloma and when severe is associated with a greatly increased morbidity and mortality. The principal cause of severe renal failure is cast nephropathy, a direct consequence of high concentrations of monoclonal free light chains (FLCs) in patients' sera. FLC removal by extended haemodialysis, using a high cut-off dialyser, has recently been described as a novel therapeutic option. Methods The EUropean trial of free LIght chain removal by exTEnded haemodialysis in cast nephropathy (EuLITE) trial is a prospective, randomised, multicentre, open label clinical trial to investigate the clinical benefits of FLC removal haemodialysis in patients with cast nephropathy, dialysis dependent acute renal failure and de novo multiple myeloma. Recruitment commenced in May 2008. In total, 90 patients will be recruited. Participants will be randomised, centrally, upon enrolment, to either trial chemotherapy and FLC removal haemodialysis or trial chemotherapy and standard high flux haemodialysis. Trial chemotherapy consists of bortezomib, doxorubicin and dexamethasone. FLC removal haemodialysis is undertaken with two Gambro HCO 1100 dialysers in series using an intensive treatment schedule. The primary outcome for the study is independence of dialysis at 3 months. Secondary outcomes are: duration of dialysis, reduction in serum FLC concentrations; myeloma response and survival. Hypothesis FLC removal haemodialysis will increase the rate of renal recovery in patients with severe renal failure secondary to cast nephropathy in de novo multiple myeloma. Trial registration ISRCTN45967602 PMID:18822172
Siddiqi, Kamran; Huque, Rumana; Jackson, Cath; Parrott, Steve; Dogar, Omara; Shah, Sarwat; Thomson, Heather; Sheikh, Aziz
Introduction Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) increases children’s risk of acquiring chest and ear infections, tuberculosis, meningitis and asthma. Smoking bans in public places (where implemented) have significantly reduced adults’ exposure to SHS. However, for children, homes remain the most likely place for them to be exposed to SHS. Additional measures are therefore required to protect children from SHS. In a feasibility study in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we have shown that a school-based smoke-free intervention (SFI) was successful in encouraging children to negotiate and implement smoking restrictions in homes. We will now conduct a pilot trial to inform plans to undertake a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of SFI in reducing children’s exposure to SHS. Methods and analysis We plan to recruit 12 primary schools in Dhaka, Bangladesh. From these schools, we will recruit approximately 360 schoolchildren in year 5 (10–12 years old), that is, 30 per school. SFI consists of six interactive educational activities aimed at increasing pupils’ knowledge about SHS and related harms, motivating them to act, providing skills to negotiate with adults to persuade them not to smoke inside homes and helping families to ‘sign-up’ to a voluntary contract to make their homes smoke-free. Children in the control arm will receive the usual education. We will estimate: recruitment and attrition rates, acceptability, fidelity to SFI, effect size, intracluster correlation coefficient, cost of intervention and adverse events. Our primary outcome will consist of SHS exposure in children measured by salivary cotinine. Secondary outcomes will include respiratory symptoms, lung function tests, healthcare contacts, school attendance, smoking uptake, quality of life and academic performance. Ethics and dissemination The trial has received ethics approval from the Research Governance Committee at the University of York
Jacobs, Ian J; Menon, Usha; Ryan, Andy; Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra; Burnell, Matthew; Kalsi, Jatinderpal K; Amso, Nazar N; Apostolidou, Sophia; Benjamin, Elizabeth; Cruickshank, Derek; Crump, Danielle N; Davies, Susan K; Dawnay, Anne; Dobbs, Stephen; Fletcher, Gwendolen; Ford, Jeremy; Godfrey, Keith; Gunu, Richard; Habib, Mariam; Hallett, Rachel; Herod, Jonathan; Jenkins, Howard; Karpinskyj, Chloe; Leeson, Simon; Lewis, Sara J; Liston, William R; Lopes, Alberto; Mould, Tim; Murdoch, John; Oram, David; Rabideau, Dustin J; Reynolds, Karina; Scott, Ian; Seif, Mourad W; Sharma, Aarti; Singh, Naveena; Taylor, Julie; Warburton, Fiona; Widschwendter, Martin; Williamson, Karin; Woolas, Robert; Fallowfield, Lesley; McGuire, Alistair J; Campbell, Stuart; Parmar, Mahesh; Skates, Steven J
Summary Background Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis, with just 40% of patients surviving 5 years. We designed this trial to establish the effect of early detection by screening on ovarian cancer mortality. Methods In this randomised controlled trial, we recruited postmenopausal women aged 50–74 years from 13 centres in National Health Service Trusts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Exclusion criteria were previous bilateral oophorectomy or ovarian malignancy, increased risk of familial ovarian cancer, and active non-ovarian malignancy. The trial management system confirmed eligibility and randomly allocated participants in blocks of 32 using computer-generated random numbers to annual multimodal screening (MMS) with serum CA125 interpreted with use of the risk of ovarian cancer algorithm, annual transvaginal ultrasound screening (USS), or no screening, in a 1:1:2 ratio. The primary outcome was death due to ovarian cancer by Dec 31, 2014, comparing MMS and USS separately with no screening, ascertained by an outcomes committee masked to randomisation group. All analyses were by modified intention to screen, excluding the small number of women we discovered after randomisation to have a bilateral oophorectomy, have ovarian cancer, or had exited the registry before recruitment. Investigators and participants were aware of screening type. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00058032. Findings Between June 1, 2001, and Oct 21, 2005, we randomly allocated 202 638 women: 50 640 (25·0%) to MMS, 50 639 (25·0%) to USS, and 101 359 (50·0%) to no screening. 202 546 (>99·9%) women were eligible for analysis: 50 624 (>99·9%) women in the MMS group, 50 623 (>99·9%) in the USS group, and 101 299 (>99·9%) in the no screening group. Screening ended on Dec 31, 2011, and included 345 570 MMS and 327 775 USS annual screening episodes. At a median follow-up of 11·1 years (IQR 10·0–12·0), we diagnosed ovarian cancer in
Piderman, Katherine M; Johnson, Mary E
Chaplains' involvement in spirituality and health research can contribute something vital and unique to these investigations. It can also provide opportunity for professional growth and increased effectiveness. This article describes the authors' experience as co-investigators in a randomized controlled trial involving patients with a life expectancy of less than five years receiving radiation therapy for advanced cancer. It also discusses the application to clinical settings and other research.
Background Recent studies have questioned our previous understanding on the effect of nitrous oxide on muscle relaxants, since nitrous oxide has been shown to potentiate the action of bolus doses of mivacurium, rocuronium and vecuronium. This study was aimed to investigate the possible effect of nitrous oxide on the infusion requirements of cisatracurium. Methods 70 ASA physical status I-III patients aged 18-75 years were enrolled in this randomized trial. The patients were undergoing elective surgery requiring general anesthesia with a duration of at least 90 minutes. Patients were randomized to receive propofol and remifentanil by target controlled infusion in combination with either a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide (Nitrous oxide/TIVA group) or oxygen in air (Air/TIVA group). A 0.1 mg/kg initial bolus of cisatracurium was administered before tracheal intubation, followed by a closed-loop computer controlled infusion of cisatracurium to produce and maintain a 90% neuromuscular block. Cumulative dose requirements of cisatracurium during the 90-min study period after bolus administration were measured and the asymptotic steady state rate of infusion to produce a constant 90% block was determined by applying nonlinear curve fitting to the data on the cumulative dose requirement during the study period. Results Controller performance, i.e. the ability of the controller to maintain neuromuscular block constant at the setpoint and patient characteristics were similar in both groups. The administration of nitrous oxide did not affect cisatracurium infusion requirements. The mean steady-state rates of infusion were 0.072 +/- 0.018 and 0.066 +/- 0.017 mg * kg-1 * h-1 in Air/TIVA and Nitrous oxide/TIVA groups, respectively. Conclusions Nitrous oxide does not affect the infusion requirements of cisatracurium. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01152905; European Clinical Trials Database at http://eudract.emea.eu.int/2006-006037-41. PMID:20718983
Arya, Ravindra; Chansoria, Maya; Konanki, Ramesh; Tiwari, Dileep K.
Objective. This study evaluated the effect of antenatal music exposure to primigravida healthy mothers on the behaviour of their term appropriate-for-date newborns assessed using Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (BNBAS). Methods. This was a single-centre, randomized, open-label controlled trial. Primigravida mothers aged 19–29 years, free of chronic medical diseases or significant deafness, with singleton pregnancy, with a gestation of 20 weeks or less, were randomized to listen to a pre-recorded music cassette for approximately 1 hour/day in addition to standard antenatal care (intervention arm) or standard care only (control arm). Perinatal factors with adverse effect on neonatal behaviour were deemed as protocol violations. Outcome measure included scores on 7 clusters of BNBAS. Primary analysis was per protocol. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01278329). Results. One hundred and twenty-six newborns in the music group and 134 in the control group were subjected to BNBAS assessment. The infants of mothers exposed to music during pregnancy performed significantly better on 5 of the 7 BNBAS clusters. The maximal beneficial effect was seen with respect to orientation (ES 1.13, 95% CI 0.82–1.44, P < 0.0001) and habituation (ES 1.05, 95% CI 0.53–1.57, P = 0.0001). Conclusion. Prenatal music exposure to mother significantly and favourably influences neonatal behaviour. PMID:22518187
Roussel, Nathalie A; Vissers, Dirk; Kuppens, Kevin; Fransen, Erik; Truijen, Steven; Nijs, Jo; De Backer, Wilfried
Although dancing requires extensive physical exertion, dancers do not often train their physical fitness outside dance classes. Reduced aerobic capacity, lower muscle strength and altered motor control have been suggested as contributing factors for musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. This randomized controlled trial examined whether an intervention program improves aerobic capacity and explosive strength and reduces musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. Forty-four dancers were randomly allocated to a 4-month conditioning (i.e. endurance, strength and motor control training) or health promotion program (educational sessions). Outcome assessment was conducted by blinded assessors. When accounting for differences at baseline, no significant differences were observed between the groups following the intervention, except for the subscale "Pain" of the Short Form 36 Questionnaire (p = 0.03). Injury incidence rate and the proportion of injured dancers were identical in both groups, but dancers following the conditioning program had significant less low back injuries (p = 0.02). Supplementing regular dance training with a 4-month conditioning program does not lead to a significant increase in aerobic capacity or explosive strength in pre-professional dancers compared to a health promotion program without conditioning training, but leads to less reported pain. Further research should explore how additional training may be organized, taking into account the demanding dance schedule of pre-professional dancers. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01440153. PMID:24951437
Roussel, Nathalie A; Vissers, Dirk; Kuppens, Kevin; Fransen, Erik; Truijen, Steven; Nijs, Jo; De Backer, Wilfried
Although dancing requires extensive physical exertion, dancers do not often train their physical fitness outside dance classes. Reduced aerobic capacity, lower muscle strength and altered motor control have been suggested as contributing factors for musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. This randomized controlled trial examined whether an intervention program improves aerobic capacity and explosive strength and reduces musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. Forty-four dancers were randomly allocated to a 4-month conditioning (i.e. endurance, strength and motor control training) or health promotion program (educational sessions). Outcome assessment was conducted by blinded assessors. When accounting for differences at baseline, no significant differences were observed between the groups following the intervention, except for the subscale "Pain" of the Short Form 36 Questionnaire (p = 0.03). Injury incidence rate and the proportion of injured dancers were identical in both groups, but dancers following the conditioning program had significant less low back injuries (p = 0.02). Supplementing regular dance training with a 4-month conditioning program does not lead to a significant increase in aerobic capacity or explosive strength in pre-professional dancers compared to a health promotion program without conditioning training, but leads to less reported pain. Further research should explore how additional training may be organized, taking into account the demanding dance schedule of pre-professional dancers. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01440153.
Wolf, Michael S.; Kaiser, Darren; Morrow, Daniel G.
Among patients with various levels of health literacy, the effects of collaborative, patient-provider, medication-planning tools on outcomes relevant to self-management are uncertain. Objective. Among adult patients with type II diabetes mellitus, we tested the effectiveness of a medication-planning tool (Medtable™) implemented via an electronic medical record to improve patients' medication knowledge, adherence, and glycemic control compared to usual care. Design. A multicenter, randomized controlled trial in outpatient primary care clinics. 674 patients received either the Medtable tool or usual care and were followed up for up to 12 months. Results. Patients who received Medtable had greater knowledge about indications for medications in their regimens and were more satisfied with the information about their medications. Patients' knowledge of drug indication improved with Medtable regardless of their literacy status. However, Medtable did not improve patients' demonstrated medication use, regimen adherence, or glycemic control (HbA1c). Conclusion. The Medtable tool supported provider/patient collaboration related to medication use, as reflected in patient satisfaction with communication, but had limited impact on patient medication knowledge, adherence, and HbA1c outcomes. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01296633.
Wolf, Michael S.; Kaiser, Darren; Morrow, Daniel G.
Among patients with various levels of health literacy, the effects of collaborative, patient-provider, medication-planning tools on outcomes relevant to self-management are uncertain. Objective. Among adult patients with type II diabetes mellitus, we tested the effectiveness of a medication-planning tool (Medtable™) implemented via an electronic medical record to improve patients' medication knowledge, adherence, and glycemic control compared to usual care. Design. A multicenter, randomized controlled trial in outpatient primary care clinics. 674 patients received either the Medtable tool or usual care and were followed up for up to 12 months. Results. Patients who received Medtable had greater knowledge about indications for medications in their regimens and were more satisfied with the information about their medications. Patients' knowledge of drug indication improved with Medtable regardless of their literacy status. However, Medtable did not improve patients' demonstrated medication use, regimen adherence, or glycemic control (HbA1c). Conclusion. The Medtable tool supported provider/patient collaboration related to medication use, as reflected in patient satisfaction with communication, but had limited impact on patient medication knowledge, adherence, and HbA1c outcomes. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01296633. PMID:27699179
Hou, Li-qiong; Liu, Yun-hui; Zhang, Yi-yi
Garlic is a common spicy flavouring agent also used for certain therapeutic purposes. Garlic's effects on blood glucose have been the subject of many clinical and animal studies, however, studies reporting hypoglycemic effects of garlic in humans are conflicting. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify relevant trials of garlic or garlic extracts on markers of glycemic control [fasting blood glucose (FBG), postprandial glucose (PPG), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c)]. A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic intake on human was done to assess garlic's effectiveness in lowering glucose levels. Two reviewers extracted data from each of the identified studies. Seven eligible randomized controlled trials with 513 subjects were identified. Pooled analyses showed that garlic intake results in a statistically significant lowering in FBG [SMD=-1.67; 95% CI (-2.80, -0.55), p=0.004]. Our pooled analyses did not include PPG control and HbA1c outcomes. Because only 1 study included in the meta-analysis reported PPG variables and only 2 studies reported HbA1c variables. In conclusion, the current meta-analysis showed that the administration of garlic resulted in a significant reduction in FBG concentrations. More trials are needed to investigate the effectiveness of garlic on HbA1c and PPG.
Swingler, George H.; Pillay, Victoria; Pienaar, Elizabeth D.; Ioannidis, John P. A.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess whether randomized controlled trials conducted in Africa with collaborators from outside Africa were more closely associated with health conditions that have a burden of disease that is of specific importance to Africa than with conditions of more general global importance or with conditions important to developed countries. We also assessed whether the source of funding influenced a study's relevance to Africa. METHODS: We compared randomized controlled trials performed in Africa that looked at diseases specifically relevant to Africa (as determined by burden of disease criteria) with trials classified as looking at diseases of global importance or diseases important to developed countries in order to assess differences in collaboration and funding. FINDINGS: Of 520 trials assessed, 347 studied diseases that are specifically important to Africa; 99 studied globally important diseases and 74 studied diseases that are important to developed countries. The strongest independent predictor of whether a study was of specifically African or global importance was the corresponding author's country of origin: African importance was negatively associated with a corresponding author being from South Africa (odds ratio (OR) = 0.04; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.02-0.10) but there was little difference between corresponding authors from other African countries and corresponding authors from countries outside Africa. The importance of a study to Africa was independently associated with having more non-African authors (OR per author = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.08-1.58), fewer trial sites (OR per site = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.50-0.96), and reporting of funding (OR = 2.14; 95% CI = 1.15-4.00). Similar patterns were present in the comparisons of trials studying diseases important to Africa versus those studying diseases important to developed countries with stronger associations overall. When funding was reported, private industry funding was negatively
Abstract Background Plantar warts (verrucae) are extremely common. Although many will spontaneously disappear without treatment, treatment may be sought for a variety of reasons such as discomfort. There are a number of different treatments for cutaneous warts, with salicylic acid and cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen being two of the most common forms of treatment. To date, no full economic evaluation of either salicylic acid or cryotherapy has been conducted based on the use of primary data in a pragmatic setting. This paper describes the cost-effectiveness analysis which was conducted alongside a pragmatic multicentre, randomised trial evaluating the clinical effectiveness of cryotherapy versus 50% salicylic acid of the treatment of plantar warts. Methods A cost-effectiveness analysis was undertaken alongside a pragmatic multicentre, randomised controlled trial assessing the clinical effectiveness of 50% salicylic acid and cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen at 12 weeks after randomisation of patients. Cost-effectiveness outcomes were expressed as the additional cost required to completely cure the plantar warts of one additional patient. A NHS perspective was taken for the analysis. Results Cryotherapy costs on average £101.17 (bias corrected and accelerated (BCA) 95% CI: 85.09-117.26) more per participant over the 12 week time-frame, while there is no additional benefit, in terms of proportion of patients healed compared with salicylic acid. Conclusions Cryotherapy is more costly and no more effective than salicylic acid. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN18994246 [controlled-trials.com] and National Research Register N0484189151. PMID:22369511
Background Many brain-injured patients referred for outpatient rehabilitation have executive deficits, notably difficulties with planning, problem-solving and goal directed behaviour. Goal Management Training (GMT) has proven to be an efficacious cognitive treatment for these problems. GMT entails learning and applying an algorithm, in which daily tasks are subdivided into multiple steps. Main aim of the present study is to examine whether using an errorless learning approach (preventing the occurrence of errors during the acquisition phase of learning) contributes to the efficacy of Goal Management Training in the performance of complex daily tasks. Methods/Design The study is a double blind randomized controlled trial, in which the efficacy of Goal Management Training with an errorless learning approach will be compared with conventional Goal Management Training, based on trial and error learning. In both conditions 32 patients with acquired brain injury of mixed etiology will be examined. Main outcome measure will be the performance on two individually chosen everyday-tasks before and after treatment, using a standardized observation scale and goal attainment scaling. Discussion This is the first study that introduces errorless learning in Goal Management Training. It is expected that the GMT-errorless learning approach will improve the execution of complex daily tasks in brain-injured patients with executive deficits. The study can contribute to a better treatment of executive deficits in cognitive rehabilitation. Trial registration (Dutch Trial Register): http://NTR3567 PMID:23786651
Freudenreich, Oliver; Henderson, David C.; Macklin, Eric A.; Evins, A. Eden; Fan, Xiaoduo; Cather, Cori; Walsh, Jared P.; Goff, Donald C.
Background Patients with schizophrenia often suffer from cognitive deficits and negative symptoms that are poorly responsive to antipsychotics including clozapine. Clozapine-induced sedation can worsen cognition and impair social and occupational functioning. Objectives To evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of modafinil for negative symptoms, cognition, and wakefulness/fatigue in DSM-IV–diagnosed schizophrenia patients treated with clozapine. Method A double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dosed 8-week pilot trial was conducted between September 2003 and September 2007, adding modafinil up to 300 mg/d to stabilized schizophrenia outpatients receiving clozapine. Psychopathology, cognition, and wakefulness/fatigue were assessed with standard rating scales. Results Thirty-five patients were randomly assigned to treatment with study drug and included in the analysis. Modafinil did not reduce negative symptoms or wakefulness/fatigue or improve cognition compared to placebo. Modafinil was well tolerated and did not worsen psychosis. Conclusions Results of this pilot trial do not support routine use of modafinil to treat negative symptoms, cognitive deficits, or wakefulness/fatigue in patients on clozapine. However, given our limited power to detect a treatment effect and the clear possibility of a type II error, larger trials are needed to resolve or refute a potential therapeutic effect of uncertain magnitude. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00573417 PMID:19689921
Kim, Chang-Kyu; Kim, Da-Hee; Lee, Myeong Soo; Kim, Jong-In; Wieland, L Susan; Shin, Byung-Cheul
Objective. This study aimed to identify all of the features of complementary and alternative (CAM) randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the Korean literature and then introduce English-speaking researchers to the bibliometric and risk of bias characteristics of this literature. Methods. Eleven electronic databases and sixteen Korean journals were searched to August 2013 for RCTs of CAM therapies. Key study characteristics were extracted and risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias. Results. Three hundred and sixty publications met our inclusion criteria. Complementary and traditional medicine RCTs in the Korean literature emerged in the mid-1990s and increased in the mid-2000s. The most common CAM interventions include acupuncture (59.4%) and herbal medicine (8.3%). The largest proportion of trials evaluated CAM for musculoskeletal conditions (20.7%). Adequate methods of randomization were reported in 41.7% of the RCTs, whereas only 8.3% reported adequate allocation concealment. A low proportion of trials reported participant blinding (34.2%) and outcome assessor blinding (22.5%). Conclusions. Korean CAM RCTs are typically omitted from systematic reviews resulting in the potential for language bias. This study will enable these trials of diverse quality to be identified and assessed for inclusion in future systematic reviews on CAM interventions.
Mavissakalian, M R; Zamar, N
Seventy-one patients with panic disorder (PD) and 46 patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were studied in relation to their behavior before, during, and after participation in two contemporaneous and procedurally similar double-blind drug efficacy trials. The two groups were administered a battery of assessments aimed at comparing them on the nature and intensity of various symptom domains, social and work-related disability, personality, life events, and previous treatments. The results yielded few significant differences that were not due to definitional factors, most notably a more prevalent history of depression and treatment for depression in the GAD group and a higher rate of pharmacological treatment in the PD group. On the other hand, the two groups behaved in a comparable way in the screening, experimental, and postexperimental phases of the trials. The findings are in support of more similarities than differences between the groups. In addition, the comparable behavior of the two groups throughout the three phases of the trial suggests that differential pretreatment attrition and compliance with placebo-controlled trials may not present major confounding problems in comparative treatment effectiveness studies between GAD and PD diagnostic groups.
Saccà, Francesco; Puorro, Giorgia; Brunetti, Arturo; Capasso, Giovambattista; Cervo, Amedeo; Cocozza, Sirio; de Leva, Mariafulvia; Marsili, Angela; Pane, Chiara; Quarantelli, Mario; Russo, Cinzia Valeria; Trepiccione, Francesco; De Michele, Giuseppe; Filla, Alessandro; Morra, Vincenzo Brescia
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant disorder. Lithium is able to stimulate autophagy, and to reduce Ca(2+) efflux from the inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor. We designed a phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 48-week trial with lithium carbonate in 20 patients with SCA2. The primary objective was to determine safety and tolerability of lithium. The secondary objectives were to determine disease progression, quality of life, mood, and brain volume change. Sixteen patients completed the trial, 8 randomized to lithium, 8 to placebo. Forty adverse events (AEs) were reported during the trial, twenty-eight in the lithium and 12 in the placebo group (p = 0.11). Mean AE duration was 57.4 ± 60.8 and 77.4 ± 68.5 days (p = 0.37). Non-significant differences were observed for the SARA and for brain volume change, whereas a significant reduction in the BDI-II was observed for lithium group (p < 0.05). Lithium was well tolerated and reported AEs were similar to those previously described for bipolar disorder patients. A correctly powered phase III trial is needed to assess if lithium may slow disease progression in SCA2.
Background Anxiety disorders affect approximately 10% to 20% of young people, can be enduring if left untreated, and have been associated with psychopathology in later life. Despite this, there is a paucity of empirical research to assist clinicians in determining appropriate treatment options. We describe a protocol for a randomized controlled trial in which we will examine the effectiveness of a group-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for children and adolescents with a primary diagnosis of anxiety disorder. For the adolescent participants we will also evaluate the elements of the intervention that act as mechanisms for change. Methods/design We will recruit 150 young people (90 children and 60 adolescents) diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and their parent or caregiver. After completion of baseline assessment, participants will be randomized to one of three conditions (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy or waitlist control). Those in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy groups will receive 10 × 1.5 hour weekly group-therapy sessions using a manualized treatment program, in accordance with the relevant therapy, to be delivered by psychologists. Controls will receive the Cognitive Behavior Therapy program after 10 weeks waitlisted. Repeated measures will be taken immediately post-therapy and at three months after therapy cessation. Discussion To the best of our knowledge, this study will be the largest trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the treatment of children and young people to date. It will provide comprehensive data on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for anxiety disorders and will offer evidence for mechanisms involved in the process of change. Furthermore, additional data will be obtained for the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in this population and this research will illustrate the comparative effectiveness of these two interventions, which are currently
Background Participation in organised youth sports (OYS) has been recommended as an opportunity to increase young peoples’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels. Participants, however, spend a considerable proportion of time during OYS inactive. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate whether coaches who attended coach education sessions (where education on increasing MVPA and decreasing inactivity during training was delivered) can increase players’ MVPA during training sessions over a 5-day basketball program compared to coaches who did not receive coach education sessions. Methods/design A convenience sample of 80 female players and 8 coaches were recruited into the UWS School Holiday Basketball Program in Greater Western Sydney, Australia. A two-arm, parallel-group randomised controlled trial was employed to investigate whether coaches who attended 2 coach education sessions (compared with a no-treatment control) can increase their players’ MVPA during training sessions over a 5-day basketball program. Objectively measured physical activity, directly observed lesson context and leader behaviour, player motivation, players’ perceived autonomy support, and coaching information (regarding training session planning, estimations on player physical activity and lesson context during training, perceived ability to modify training sessions, perceived importance of physical activity during training, intention to increase physical activity/reduce inactivity, and likelihood of increasing physical activity/reducing inactivity) were assessed at baseline (day 1) and at follow-up (day 5). Linear mixed models will be used to analyse between arm differences in changes from baseline to follow-up on all outcomes. Discussion The current trial protocol describes, to our knowledge, the first trial conducted in an OYS context to investigate the efficacy of an intervention, relative to a control, in increasing MVPA. This study’s findings will
Azar, Kristen MJ; Block, Torin J; Romanelli, Robert J; Carpenter, Heather; Hopkins, Donald; Palaniappan, Latha; Block, Clifford H
Background In the United States, 86 million adults have pre-diabetes. Evidence-based interventions that are both cost effective and widely scalable are needed to prevent diabetes. Objective Our goal was to develop a fully automated diabetes prevention program and determine its effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial. Methods Subjects with verified pre-diabetes were recruited to participate in a trial of the effectiveness of Alive-PD, a newly developed, 1-year, fully automated behavior change program delivered by email and Web. The program involves weekly tailored goal-setting, team-based and individual challenges, gamification, and other opportunities for interaction. An accompanying mobile phone app supports goal-setting and activity planning. For the trial, participants were randomized by computer algorithm to start the program immediately or after a 6-month delay. The primary outcome measures are change in HbA1c and fasting glucose from baseline to 6 months. The secondary outcome measures are change in HbA1c, glucose, lipids, body mass index (BMI), weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Randomization and delivery of the intervention are independent of clinic staff, who are blinded to treatment assignment. Outcomes will be evaluated for the intention-to-treat and per-protocol populations. Results A total of 340 subjects with pre-diabetes were randomized to the intervention (n=164) or delayed-entry control group (n=176). Baseline characteristics were as follows: mean age 55 (SD 8.9); mean BMI 31.1 (SD 4.3); male 68.5%; mean fasting glucose 109.9 (SD 8.4) mg/dL; and mean HbA1c 5.6 (SD 0.3)%. Data collection and analysis are in progress. We hypothesize that participants in the intervention group will achieve statistically significant reductions in fasting glucose and HbA1c as compared to the control group at 6 months post baseline. Conclusions The randomized trial will provide rigorous evidence regarding the efficacy of
Background Family-based treatment is an efficacious outpatient intervention for medically stable adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Previous research suggests family-based treatment may be more effective for some families when parents and adolescents attend separate therapy sessions compared to conjoint sessions. Our service developed a novel separated model of family-based treatment, parent-focused treatment, and is undertaking a randomised controlled trial to compare parent-focused treatment to conjoint family-based treatment. Methods/Design This randomised controlled trial will recruit 100 adolescents aged 12–18 years with DSM-IV anorexia nervosa or eating disorder not otherwise specified (anorexia nervosa type). The trial commenced in 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2015. Participants are recruited from the Royal Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, Melbourne, Australia. Following a multidisciplinary intake assessment, eligible families who provide written informed consent are randomly allocated to either parent-focused treatment or conjoint family-based treatment. In parent-focused treatment, the adolescent sees a clinical nurse consultant and the parents see a trained mental health clinician. In conjoint family-based treatment, the whole family attends sessions with the mental health clinician. Both groups receive 18 treatment sessions over 6 months and regular medical monitoring by a paediatrician. The primary outcome is remission at end of treatment and 6 and 12 month follow up, with remission defined as being ≥ 95% expected body weight and having an eating disorder symptom score within one standard deviation of community norms. The secondary outcomes include partial remission and changes in eating pathology, depressive symptoms and self-esteem. Moderating and mediating factors will also be explored. Discussion This will be first randomised controlled trial of a parent-focused model of family-based treatment of adolescent
A World Health Organization expert meeting on Ebola vaccines proposed urgent safety and efficacy studies in response to the outbreak in West Africa. One approach to communicable disease control is ring vaccination of individuals at high risk of infection due to their social or geographical connection to a known case. This paper describes the protocol for a novel cluster randomised controlled trial design which uses ring vaccination.In the Ebola ça suffit ring vaccination trial, rings are randomised 1:1 to (a) immediate vaccination of eligible adults with single dose vaccination or (b) vaccination delayed by 21 days. Vaccine efficacy against disease is assessed in participants over equivalent periods from the day of randomisation. Secondary objectives include vaccine effectiveness at the level of the ring, and incidence of serious adverse events. Ring vaccination trials are adaptive, can be run until disease elimination, allow interim analysis, and can go dormant during inter-epidemic periods.
Willeboordse, Maartje; van de Kant, Kim D. G.; Tan, Frans E. S.; Mulkens, Sandra; Schellings, Julia; Crijns, Yvonne; van der Ploeg, Liesbeth; van Schayck, Constant P.; Dompeling, Edward
Background There is increasing evidence that obesity is related to asthma development and severity. However, it is largely unknown whether weight reduction can influence asthma management, especially in children. Objective To determine the effects of a multifactorial weight reduction intervention on asthma management in overweight/obese children with (a high risk of developing) asthma. Methods An 18-month weight-reduction randomized controlled trial was conducted in 87 children with overweight/obesity and asthma. Every six months, measurements of anthropometry, lung function, lifestyle parameters and inflammatory markers were assessed. Analyses were performed with linear mixed models for longitudinal analyses. Results After 18 months, the body mass index-standard deviation score decreased by -0.14±0.29 points (p<0.01) in the intervention group and -0.12±0.34 points (p<0.01) in the control group. This change over time did not differ between groups (p>0.05). Asthma features (including asthma control and asthma-related quality of life) and lung function indices (static and dynamic) improved significantly over time in both groups. The FVC% predicted improved over time by 10.1 ± 8.7% in the intervention group (p<0.001), which was significantly greater than the 6.1 ± 8.4% in the control group (p<0.05). Conclusions & clinical relevance Clinically relevant improvements in body weight, lung function and asthma features were found in both the intervention and control group, although some effects were more pronounced in the intervention group (FVC, asthma control, and quality of life). This implies that a weight reduction intervention could be clinically beneficial for children with asthma. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00998413 PMID:27294869
O'Carroll, Ronan E; Chambers, Julie A; Brownlee, Linda; Libby, Gillian; Steele, Robert J C
Screening is important for early detection of colorectal cancer. Our aim was to determine whether a simple anticipated regret (AR) intervention could increase uptake of colorectal cancer screening. A randomised controlled trial of a simple, questionnaire-based AR intervention, delivered alongside existing pre-notification letters, was conducted. A total of 60,000 adults aged 50-74 years from the Scottish National Screening programme were randomised into the following groups: (1) no questionnaire (control), (2) Health Locus of Control questionnaire (HLOC) or (3) HLOC plus AR questionnaire. The primary outcome was return of the guaiac faecal occult blood test (FOBT). The secondary outcomes included intention to return test kit and perceived disgust (ICK). A total of 59,366 people were analysed as allocated (intention-to-treat (ITT)); no overall differences were seen between the treatment groups on FOBT uptake (control: 57.3%, HLOC: 56.9%, AR: 57.4%). In total, 13,645 (34.2%) individuals returned the questionnaires. Analysis of the secondary questionnaire measures showed that AR indirectly affected FOBT uptake via intention, whilst ICK directly affected FOBT uptake over and above intention. The effect of AR on FOBT uptake was also moderated by intention strength: for less-than-strong intenders only, uptake was 4.2% higher in the AR (84.6%) versus the HLOC group (80.4%) (95% CI for difference (2.0, 6.5)). The findings show that psychological concepts including AR and perceived disgust (ICK) are important factors in determining FOBT uptake. However, the AR intervention had no simple effect in the ITT analysis. It can be concluded that, in those with low intentions, exposure to AR may be required to increase FOBT uptake. The current controlled trials are presented at the website www.controlled-trials.com (number: ISRCTN74986452). PMID:26301484
O'Carroll, Ronan E.; Chambers, Julie A.; Brownlee, Linda; Libby, Gillian; Steele, Robert J.C.
Screening is important for early detection of colorectal cancer. Our aim was to determine whether a simple anticipated regret (AR) intervention could increase uptake of colorectal cancer screening. A randomised controlled trial of a simple, questionnaire-based AR intervention, delivered alongside existing pre-notification letters, was conducted. A total of 60,000 adults aged 50–74 years from the Scottish National Screening programme were randomised into the following groups: (1) no questionnaire (control), (2) Health Locus of Control questionnaire (HLOC) or (3) HLOC plus AR questionnaire. The primary outcome was return of the guaiac faecal occult blood test (FOBT). The secondary outcomes included intention to return test kit and perceived disgust (ICK). A total of 59,366 people were analysed as allocated (intention-to-treat (ITT)); no overall differences were seen between the treatment groups on FOBT uptake (control: 57.3%, HLOC: 56.9%, AR: 57.4%). In total, 13,645 (34.2%) individuals returned the questionnaires. Analysis of the secondary questionnaire measures showed that AR indirectly affected FOBT uptake via intention, whilst ICK directly affected FOBT uptake over and above intention. The effect of AR on FOBT uptake was also moderated by intention strength: for less-than-strong intenders only, uptake was 4.2% higher in the AR (84.6%) versus the HLOC group (80.4%) (95% CI for difference (2.0, 6.5)). The findings show that psychological concepts including AR and perceived disgust (ICK) are important factors in determining FOBT uptake. However, the AR intervention had no simple effect in the ITT analysis. It can be concluded that, in those with low intentions, exposure to AR may be required to increase FOBT uptake. The current controlled trials are presented at the website www.controlled-trials.com (number: ISRCTN74986452). PMID:26301484
BM, Geller; A, Bogart; PA, Carney; EA, Sickles; RA, Smith; B, Monsees; LW, Bassett; DM, Buist; K, Kerlikowske; T, Onega; B, Yankaskas; S, Haneuse; DA, Hill; M, Wallis; DL, Miglioretti
Purpose Conduct a randomized controlled trial of educational interventions to improve performance of screening mammography interpretation. Materials and Methods We randomly assigned physicians who interpret mammography to one of three groups: (1) self-paced DVD; (2) live, expert-led educational session; or (3) control. The DVD and live interventions used mammography cases of varying difficulty and associated teaching points. Interpretive performance was compared using a pre-/post-test design. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were calculated relative to two outcomes: cancer status and consensus of three experts about recall, and each were compared using logistic regression adjusting for pre-test performance. Results 102 radiologists completed all aspects of the trial. After adjustment for pre-intervention performance, the odds of improved sensitivity for correctly identifying a lesion relative to expert recall were 1.34 times higher for DVD participants than controls (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00, 1.81; P=0.050). The odds of improved PPV for correctly identifying a lesion relative to both expert recall (odds ratio [OR]=1.94, 95% CI: 1.24, 3.05; P=0.004) and cancer status (OR=1.81, 95% CI: 1.01, 3.23; P=0.045) were significantly improved for DVD participants compared to controls with no significant change in specificity. For the live-intervention group, specificity was significantly lower than the control group (OR relative to expert recall=0.80; 95% CI: 0.64, 1.00; P=0.048; OR relative to cancer=0.79; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.95; P=0.015). Conclusion In this randomized controlled trial, the DVD educational intervention resulted in a significant improvement in mammography interpretive screening performance on a test-set, which could translate into improved clinical interpretative performance. PMID:24848854
Dong, Jia-Yi; Tong, Xing; Wu, Zhi-Wei; Xun, Peng-Cheng; He, Ka; Qin, Li-Qiang
Observational studies have indicated that soya food consumption is inversely associated with blood pressure (BP). Evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) on the BP-lowering effects of soya protein intake is inconclusive. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of soya protein intake in lowering BP. The PubMed database was searched for published RCT in the English language through to April 2010, which compared a soya protein diet with a control diet. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis to examine the effects of soya protein on BP. Subgroup and meta-regression analyses were performed to explore possible explanations for heterogeneity among trials. Meta-analyses of twenty-seven RCT showed a mean decrease of 2·21 mmHg (95 % CI - 4·10, - 0·33; P = 0·021) for systolic BP (SBP) and 1·44 mmHg (95 % CI - 2·56, - 0·31; P = 0·012) for diastolic BP (DBP), comparing the participants in the soya protein group with those in the control group. Soya protein consumption significantly reduced SBP and DBP in both hypertensive and normotensive subjects, and the reductions were markedly greater in hypertensive subjects. Significant and greater BP reductions were also observed in trials using carbohydrate, but not milk products, as the control diet. Meta-regression analyses further revealed a significantly inverse association between pre-treatment BP and the level of BP reductions. In conclusion, soya protein intake, compared with a control diet, significantly reduces both SBP and DBP, but the BP reductions are related to pre-treatment BP levels of subjects and the type of control diet used as comparison.
Zong, Shuang-Le; Zhao, Gang; Su, Li-Xin; Liang, Wei-Dong; Li, Li-Geng; Cheng, Guang; Wang, Ai-Jun; Cao, Xiao-Qiang; Zheng, Qiu-Tao; Li, Li-Dong; Kan, Shi-Lian
The fifth metacarpal neck fractures (commonly termed boxer's fractures) are the most common type of metacarpal fractures. Many types of treatments are available in clinical practice, some of which have already been compared with other treatments by various researchers. However, a comprehensive treatment comparison is lacking. We estimated the comparative efficacy of different interventions for total complications, through a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. We conducted a systematic search of the literature through October 2015. The outcome measurements were the total complications. We used a Bayesian network meta-analysis to combine direct and indirect evidence and to estimate the relative effects of treatment. We identified 6 RCTs registering a total of 288 patients who were eligible for our network meta-analysis. The literature's quality is relatively high. The median Structured Effectiveness for Quality Evaluation of Study score for the included trials was 33.8. The overall methodological quality was high. Of the 6 studies, all were 2-arm controlled trials comparing active intervention. Among the 4 treatments--conservative treatment (CT), antegrade intramedullary nailing (AIMN), transverse pinning (TP) with K-wires, and plate fixation (PF)--CT had the best rankings (ie, lowest risk of total complications), followed by PF, AIMN, and TP (ie, highest risk of total complications). Furthermore, we also presented the results using surface under the cumulative ranking curve. The surface under the cumulative ranking curve probabilities were 94.1%, 52.9%, 37.3%, and 15.7% for CT, PF, AIMN, and TP, respectively. In conclusion, current evidence suggested that conservative treatment is the optimum treatment for the fifth metacarpal neck fractures because of reduced total complication rates. Moreover, the TP with K-wires is the worst option with highly total complication rates. PF and AIMN therapy should be considered as the first-line choices. Larger
Background Despite limited effectiveness of short-term psychotherapy for chronic depression, there is a lack of trials of long-term psychotherapy. Our study is the first to determine the effectiveness of controlled long-term psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral (CBT) treatments and to assess the effects of preferential vs. randomized assessment. Methods/design Patients are assigned to treatment according to their preference or randomized (if they have no clear preference). Up to 80 sessions of psychodynamic or psychoanalytically oriented treatments (PAT) or up to 60 sessions of CBT are offered during the first year in the study. After the first year, PAT can be continued according to the ‘naturalistic’ usual method of treating such patients within the system of German health care (normally from 240 up to 300 sessions over two to three years). CBT therapists may extend their treatment up to 80 sessions, but focus mainly maintenance and relapse prevention. We plan to recruit a total of 240 patients (60 per arm). A total of 11 assessments are conducted throughout treatment and up to three years after initiation of treatment. The primary outcome measures are the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (QIDS, independent clinician rating) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) after the first year. Discussion We combine a naturalistic approach with randomized controlled trials(RCTs)to investigate how effectively chronic depression can be treated on an outpatient basis by the two forms of treatment reimbursed in the German healthcare system and we will determine the effects of treatment preference vs. randomization. Trial registration http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN91956346 PMID:22834725
Venekamp, Roderick P.; Bonten, Marc J.M.; Rovers, Maroeska M.; Verheij, Theo J.M.; Sachs, Alfred P.E.
Background: Patients with acute rhinosinusitis are frequently encountered in primary care. Although corticosteroids are being increasingly used for symptom control, evidence supporting their use is inconclusive. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of systemic corticosteroid monotherapy for clinically diagnosed, uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis. Methods: We conducted a block-randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial at 54 primary care practices (68 family physicians) in the Netherlands between Dec. 30, 2008, and Apr. 28, 2011. Adult patients with clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis were randomly assigned to receive either prednisolone 30 mg/d or placebo for 7 days and asked to complete a symptom diary for 14 days. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of patients with resolution of facial pain or pressure on day 7. Results: Of the 185 patients included in the trial (93 in the treatment group, 92 in the placebo group), 2 withdrew from the study and 9 were excluded from the primary analysis because of incomplete symptom reporting. The remaining 174 patients (88 in the treatment group, 86 in the placebo group) were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The proportions of patients with resolution of facial pain or pressure on day 7 were 62.5% (55/88) in the prednisolone group and 55.8% (48/86) in the placebo group (absolute risk difference 6.7%, 95% confidence interval −7.9% to 21.2%). The groups were similar with regard to the decrease over time in the proportion of patients with total symptoms (combined symptoms of runny nose, postnasal discharge, nasal congestion, cough and facial pain) and health-related quality of life. Adverse events were mild and did not differ significantly between the groups. Interpretation: Systemic corticosteroid monotherapy had no clinically relevant beneficial effects among patients with clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis. Netherlands Trial Register
Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Hommel, Bernhard
Here we consider the possibility that meditation has an immediate impact on information processing. Moreover, we were interested to see whether this impact affects attentional input control, as previous observations suggest, or the handling of response conflict. Healthy adults underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a Simon task-which assesses conflict-resolution efficiency. While the size of the Simon effect (reflecting the efficiency of handling response conflict) was unaffected by type of meditation, the amount of dynamic behavioral adjustments (i.e., trial-to-trial variability of the Simon effect: the Gratton effect) was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in meditation instantly creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on conflict-driven control adaptations.
Torgerson, Carole; Wiggins, Andy; Torgerson, David; Ainsworth, Hannah; Hewitt, Catherine
We report a randomised controlled trial evaluation of an intensive one-to-one numeracy programme--"Numbers Count"--which formed part of the previous government's numeracy policy intervention--"Every Child Counts." We rigorously designed and conducted the trial to CONSORT guidelines. We used a pragmatic waiting list design to…
Pirotta, Marie; Gunn, Jane; Chondros, Patty; Grover, Sonia; Hurley, Susan; Garland, Suzanne
Background Complementary and alternative medicines are used by many consumers, and increasingly are being incorporated into the general practitioner's armamentarium. Despite widespread usage, the evidence base for most complementary therapies is weak or non-existent. Post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis is a common problem in general practice, for which complementary therapies are often used. A recent study in Melbourne, Australia, found that 40% of women with a past history of vulvovaginitis had used probiotic Lactobacillus species to prevent or treat post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis. There is no evidence that this therapy is effective. This study aims to test whether oral or vaginal lactobacillus is effective in the prevention of post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis. Methods/design A randomised placebo-controlled blinded 2 × 2 factorial design is being used. General practitioners or pharmacists approach non-pregnant women, aged 18–50 years, who present with a non-genital infection requiring a short course of oral antibiotics, to participate in the study. Participants are randomised in a four group factorial design either to oral lactobacillus powder or placebo and either vaginal lactobacillus pessaries or placebo. These interventions are taken while on antibiotics and for four days afterwards or until symptoms of vaginitis develop. Women self collect a vaginal swab for culture of Candida species and complete a survey at baseline and again four days after completing their study medications. The sample size (a total of 496 – 124 in each factorial group) is calculated to identify a reduction of half in post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis from 23%, while allowing for a 25% drop-out. An independent Data Monitoring Committee is supervising the trial. Analysis will be intention-to-treat, with two pre-specified main comparisons: (i) oral lactobacillus versus placebo and (ii) vaginal lactobacillus versus placebo. PMID:15046642
Faizi, Fakhrudin; Tavallaee, Abbas; Rahimi, Aboulfazl; Saburi, Amin; Saghafinia, Masoud
Context: Keeping in mind the burden of psychotherapy can play a crucial role concerning chronic pain (CP). Psychotherapy techniques are widely used to relief Chronic Pain (CP) worldwide. Appling psychotherapy needs to consider both individual and popular cultures. In addition to international requirements; nation-wide legitimacy should be regarded too. Psychological methods have provided a lot of articles in Iran, but they were neglected by the reviewers because the documents only have abstracts in English. The current study aimed to assess all Farsi Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) addressing psychotherapy to relieve chronic pains. Evidence Acquisition: Six nation-wide medical databases were investigated in 2012 using the keyword chronic pain in the Abstracts, systematically. Appling PICO question format (patient problem or population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes) all the interventional studies were reviewed for eligibility. Retrieving full text (in Farsi) and making the articles indistinguishable, two native reviewers assessed the quality of the articles independently using Jadad scale. Results: Inclusion criteria met 1542 abstracts. After refining and excluding, seventeen experimental studies were retrieved and evaluated. Mean quality score of Jadad was 1.53 ± 1.37 (median = 1.0). Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) was the dominant approach (11 out of 17) and the majority (6 out of 17 studies) of the treated cases was Low Back Pain (LBP). Patient-therapist gender adjustment has clearly reported in most of the studies, based on the requirements. Conclusions: Cognitive Behavior Therapy was more effective than the other psychotherapy approaches relieving chronic pain in the studies. Well-designed studies and comprehensive clarification of the studies demonstrating groups, intervention, follow-up and drop outs can improve the quality of the RCTs. PMID:25593723
Manicavasagar, Vijaya; Batterham, Philip J; Miller, Leonie M; Talbot, Elizabeth; Lum, Alistair
Background Adolescent mental health is characterized by relatively high rates of psychiatric disorders and low levels of help-seeking behaviors. Existing mental health programs aimed at addressing these issues in adolescents have repeated inconsistent results. Such programs have generally been based on techniques derived from cognitive behavioral therapy, which may not be ideally suited to early intervention among adolescent samples. Positive psychology, which seeks to improve well-being rather than alleviate psychological symptoms, offers an alternative approach. A previous community study of adolescents found that informal engagement in an online positive psychology program for up to 6 weeks yielded significant improvements in both well-being and depression symptoms. However, this approach had not been trialed among adolescents in a structured format and within a school setting. Objective This study examines the feasibility of an online school-based positive psychology program delivered in a structured format over a 6-week period utilizing a workbook to guide students through website content and interactive exercises. Methods Students from four high schools were randomly allocated by classroom to either the positive psychology condition, "Bite Back", or the control condition. The Bite Back condition consisted of positive psychology exercises and information, while the control condition used a series of non-psychology entertainment websites. Both interventions were delivered online for 6 hours over a period of 4-6 weeks during class time. Symptom measures and measures of well-being/flourishing and life satisfaction were administered at baseline and post intervention. Results Data were analyzed using multilevel linear modeling. Both conditions demonstrated reductions in depression, stress, and total symptom scores without any significant differences between the two conditions. Both the Bite Back and control conditions also demonstrated significant improvements in
Kelly, Patricia J.; Lesser, Janna; Cheng, An-Lin; Osóos-Sánchez, Manuel; Martinez, Elisabeth; Pineda, Daniel; Mancha, Juan
Using methods of community-based participatory research, a prospective randomized controlled trial of a violence prevention program based on Latino cultural values was implemented with elementary school children in a Mexican American community. Community members participated in intervention program selection, implementation, and data collection. High-risk students who participated in the program had greater nonviolent self-efficacy and demonstrated greater endorsement of program values than did high-risk students in the control group. This collaborative partnership was able to combine community-based participatory research with a rigorous study design and provide sustained benefit to community partners. PMID:20531101
Guastella, Adam J; Dadds, Mark R
We report on a controlled trial of three structured writing paradigms that engage the writer with cognitive-behavioural emotion-processes: exposure, devaluation, and benefit-finding. University students (N=198) wrote once a week for three weeks about their most upsetting experience. The long-term effects of these structured writing procedures were compared to an unstructured emotion writing condition and control. Outcomes indicated that exposure writing sped the reduction of intrusive and avoidant symptoms, while benefit-finding writing increased reports of positive growth. Results suggest the use of these paradigms to study emotion-processing mechanisms and, potentially, in practice to enhance coping in process-specific ways.
Background Chronic whiplash is a common and costly problem. Sensory hypersensitivity is a feature of chronic whiplash that is associated with poor responsiveness to physical treatments such as exercise. Modalities such as dry-needling have shown some capacity to modulate sensory hypersensitivity, suggesting that when combined with advice and exercise, such an approach may be more effective in the management of chronic whiplash. The primary aim of this project is to investigate the effectiveness of dry-needling, advice and exercise for chronic whiplash. Method/Design A double-blind randomised controlled trial will be conducted. 120 participants with chronic whiplash, grade II will be randomised to receive either 1) dry-needling, advice and exercise or 2) sham dry-needling, advice and exercise. All participants will receive an educational booklet on whiplash. Participants who are randomised to Group 1 will receive 6 treatments of combined dry-needling and exercise delivered in the first 3 weeks of the 6 week program, and 4 treatments of exercise only in the last 3 weeks of the program. Participants randomised to Group 2 will receive an identical protocol, except that a sham dry-needling technique will be used instead of dry-needling. The primary outcome measures are the Neck Disability Index (NDI) and participants' perceived recovery. Outcomes will be measured at 6, 12, 24 and 52 weeks after randomization by an assessor who is blind to the group allocation of the participants. In parallel, an economic analysis will be conducted. Discussion This trial will utilise high quality trial methodologies in accordance with CONSORT guidelines. The successful completion of this trial will provide evidence of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a combined treatment approach for the management of chronic whiplash. Trial registration ACTRN12609000470291 PMID:20021675
Wang, Jie; Xiong, Xingjiang; Liu, Wei
Background. This study was intended to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tongxinluo capsule for hypertension. Search Strategy. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, The PubMed, EMBASE, Chinese Bio-Medical Literature Database (CBM), Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Scientific Journal Database, and Wan-fang Data started from the first of database to October 28, 2013. No language restriction was applied. We included randomized clinical trials testing Tongxinluo capsule against western medicine, Tongxinluo capsule versus placebo, and Tongxinluo capsule combined with western medicine versus western medicine. Study selection, data extraction, quality assessment, and data analyses were conducted according to the Cochrane standards. Results. 25 trials with 1958 participants were included. The methodological quality of the included trials was evaluated as generally low. The blood pressure (BP) lowering effect of Tongxinluo capsule plus western medicine was significantly higher than that of western medicine (systolic blood pressure (SBP): −3.87, −5.32 to −2.41, P < 0.00001; and diastolic blood pressure (DBP): −2.72, −4.19 to −1.24, P = 0.0003). The BP also decreased significantly from baseline with Tongxinluo capsule than placebo (SBP: −9.40, −10.90 to −7.90, P < 0.00001; and DBP: −11.80, −12.40 to −11.20, P < 0.00001) or western medicine (SBP: −3.90, −4.93 to −2.87, P < 0.00001; and DBP: −3.70, −3.83 to −3.57, P < 0.00001). 12 trials reported adverse events without details. Conclusions. There is some but weak evidence about the effectiveness of TXL in treating patients with hypertension. PMID:24693319
Miceli, Giovanni; Marino, Natale; Sciortino, Davide; Bagnato, Gian Filippo
Objectives. This trial aimed to test the effectiveness of a wearable pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) device in the management of pain in knee OA patients. Methods. In this randomized [with equal randomization (1:1)], double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with radiographic evidence of knee OA and persistent pain higher than 40 mm on the visual analog scale (VAS) were recruited. The trial consisted of 12 h daily treatment for 1 month in 60 knee OA patients. The primary outcome measure was the reduction in pain intensity, assessed through VAS and WOMAC scores. Secondary outcomes included quality of life assessment through the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form version 2 (SF-36 v2), pressure pain threshold (PPT) and changes in intake of NSAIDs/analgesics. Results. Sixty-six patients were included, and 60 completed the study. After 1 month, PEMF induced a significant reduction in VAS pain and WOMAC scores compared with placebo. Additionally, pain tolerance, as expressed by PPT changes, and physical health improved in PEMF-treated patients. A mean treatment effect of −0.73 (95% CI − 1.24 to − 0.19) was seen in VAS score, while the effect size was −0.34 (95% CI − 0.85 to 0.17) for WOMAC score. Twenty-six per cent of patients in the PEMF group stopped NSAID/analgesic therapy. No adverse events were detected. Conclusion. These results suggest that PEMF therapy is effective for pain management in knee OA patients and also affects pain threshold and physical functioning. Future larger studies, including head-to-head studies comparing PEMF therapy with standard pharmacological approaches in OA, are warranted. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01877278 PMID:26705327
Rahmani, Sepideh; Asgary, Sedigheh; Askari, Gholamreza; Keshvari, Mahtab; Hatamipour, Mahdi; Feizi, Awat; Sahebkar, Amirhossein
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a global health problem. Although many aspects of NAFLD pathogenesis have been understood, there is a paucity of effective treatments to be used as the second line when lifestyle modification is insufficient. Curcumin, a natural polyphenol from turmeric, has been shown to be effective against development of hepatic steatosis and its progression to steatohepatitis, yet these beneficial effects have not been explored in clinical practice. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of curcumin on hepatic fat content as well as biochemical and anthropometric features of patients with NAFLD. In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, patients with ultrasonographic evidence of NAFLD were randomly assigned to receive an amorphous dispersion curcumin formulation (500 mg/day equivalent to 70-mg curcumin) or matched placebo for a period of 8 weeks. Liver fat content (assessed through ultrasonography), glycemic and lipid profile, transaminase levels, and anthropometric indices were evaluated at baseline and at the end of follow-up period. The clinical trial protocol was registered under the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials ID: IRCT2014110511763N18. Compared with placebo, curcumin was associated with a significant reduction in liver fat content (78.9% improvement in the curcumin vs 27.5% improvement in the placebo group). There were also significant reductions in body mass index and serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, glucose, and glycated hemoglobin compared with the placebo group. Curcumin was safe and well tolerated during the course of trial. Findings of the present proof-of-concept trial suggested improvement of different features of NAFLD after a short-term supplementation with curcumin. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27270872
Li, Xiao-Qian; Yang, Ge-Liang; Tao, Kun-Ming; Zhang, Hui-Qing; Zhou, Qing-Hui; Ling, Chang-Quan
OBJECTIVES. The need for trial registration as well as the benefits it has brought for the transparency of medical research has been recognized for years. Trial registration has turned from an exception to a mandatory guideline in recent years. The present study aimed to examine the characteristics of registered randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in a sample of recently published gastroenterology RCTs, and to assess the consistency of registered and published primary outcome (PO) in RCTs. METHODS. Articles published in the top five "general and internal journals" and top five "gastroenterology and hepatology journals" categories between 2009 and 2012 were searched in PubMed. Basic characteristics and the registration information were identified and extracted from the included RCTs. PO consistency analysis was conducted to compare between the registered and published format. RESULTS. A total of 305 RCTs were included; among them 252 could be identified with a registration number. Nearly half of these RCTs were funded solely by industry (141/305, 46.3%). ClinicalTrials.gov was the most popular registry for these RCTs (214/252, 84.9%). A total of 155 RCTs were included in the PO consistency analysis. Among them, 22 (14.2%) RCTs had discrepancies between POs registered in the trial registry compared to the published article. CONCLUSIONS. Based on the results of the present study, selective outcome reporting of gastroenterology RCTs published in leading medical journals has been much improved over the past years. However, there might be a sampling bias to say that consistency of registered and published POs of gastroenterology RCTs has been better than before. PMID:24131272
Background Non-didactically delivered curriculum based group psychoeducation has been shown to be more effective than both group support in a specialist mood disorder centre in Spain (with effects lasting up to five years), and treatment as usual in Australia. It is unclear whether the specific content and form of group psychoeducation is effective or the chance to meet and work collaboratively with other peers. The main objective of this trial is to determine whether curriculum based group psychoeducation is more clinically and cost effective than unstructured peer group support. Methods/design Single blind two centre cluster randomised controlled trial of 21 sessions group psychoeducation versus 21 sessions group peer support in adults with bipolar 1 or 2 disorder, not in current episode but relapsed in the previous two years. Individual randomisation is to either group at each site. The groups are carefully matched for the number and type of therapists, length and frequency of the interventions and overall aim of the groups but differ in content and style of delivery. The primary outcome is time to next bipolar episode with measures of the therapeutic process, barriers and drivers to the effective delivery of the interventions and economic analysis. Follow up is for 96 weeks after randomisation. Discussion The trial has features of both an efficacy and an effectiveness trial design. For generalisability in England it is set in routine public mental health practice with a high degree of expert patient involvement. Trial Registration ISRCTN62761948 Funding National Institute for Health Research, England. PMID:21777426
Berl, Tomas; Beck, Gerald J.; Remuzzi, Giuseppe; Ritz, Eberhard; Arita, Kiyoshi; Kato, Akira; Shimizu, Miho
Reduced GFR in patients with CKD causes systemic accumulation of uremic toxins, which has been correlated with disease progression and increased morbidity. The orally administered spherical carbon adsorbent AST-120 reduces systemic toxin absorption through gastrointestinal sequestration, which may slow disease progression in these patients. The multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Evaluating Prevention of Progression in CKD (EPPIC)-1 and EPPIC-2 trials evaluated the effects of AST-120 on the progression of CKD when added to standard therapy. We randomly assigned 2035 adults with moderate to severe disease (serum creatinine at screening, 2.0–5.0 mg/dl for men and 1.5–5.0 mg/dl for women) to receive either placebo or AST-120 (9 g/d). The primary end point was a composite of dialysis initiation, kidney transplantation, and serum creatinine doubling. Each trial continued until accrual of 291 primary end points. The time to primary end point was similar between the AST-120 and the placebo groups in both trials (EPPIC-1: hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.27; P=0.78) (EPPIC-2: hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.12; P=0.37); a pooled analysis of both trials showed similar results. The estimated median time to primary end points for the placebo groups was 124 weeks for power calculations, but actual times were 189.0 and 170.3 weeks for EPPIC-1 and EPPIC-2, respectively. Thus, disease progression was more gradual than expected in the trial populations. In conclusion, the benefit of adding AST-120 to standard therapy in patients with moderate to severe CKD is not supported by these data. PMID:25349205
Kähler, Pernille; Grevstad, Berit; Almdal, Thomas; Gluud, Christian; Wetterslev, Jørn; Vaag, Allan; Hemmingsen, Bianca
Objective To assess the benefits and harms of targeting intensive versus conventional glycaemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Design A systematic review with meta-analyses and trial sequential analyses of randomised clinical trials. Data sources The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded and LILACS to January 2013. Study selection Randomised clinical trials that prespecified different targets of glycaemic control in participants at any age with type 1 diabetes mellitus were included. Data extraction Two authors independently assessed studies for inclusion and extracted data. Results 18 randomised clinical trials included 2254 participants with type 1 diabetes mellitus. All trials had high risk of bias. There was no statistically significant effect of targeting intensive glycaemic control on all-cause mortality (risk ratio 1.16, 95% CI 0.65 to 2.08) or cardiovascular mortality (0.49, 0.19 to 1.24). Targeting intensive glycaemic control reduced the relative risks for the composite macrovascular outcome (0.63, 0.41 to 0.96; p=0.03), and nephropathy (0.37, 0.27 to 0.50; p<0.00001. The effect estimates of retinopathy, ketoacidosis and retinal photocoagulation were not consistently statistically significant between random and fixed effects models. The risk of severe hypoglycaemia was significantly increased with intensive glycaemic targets (1.40, 1.01 to 1.94). Trial sequential analyses showed that the amount of data needed to demonstrate a relative risk reduction of 10% were, in general, inadequate. Conclusions There was no significant effect towards improved all-cause mortality when targeting intensive glycaemic control compared with conventional glycaemic control. However, there may be beneficial effects of targeting intensive glycaemic control on the composite macrovascular outcome and on nephropathy, and detrimental effects on severe hypoglycaemia. Notably, the data for retinopathy and ketoacidosis were inconsistent
Li, Shuang; Wu, Yan; Yu, Ge; Xia, Qing; Xu, Yawei
Objective(s) Several studies have assessed the effect of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on peripheral endothelial dysfunction as measured by flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), a widely-used indicator for endothelial function. We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the effect in comparison to placebo or no treatment and other antihypertensives. Methods MEDLINE, Cochrane library and EMBASE were searched to September 2013 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed the effect of ARBs versus placebo or no treatment and other antihypertensives (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), β-blockers, diuretics) by forearm FMD. Furthermore, we also use meta-regression to analyze the relationship between the endothelial function and the duration of ARBs treatments. Results In 11 trials including 590 patients, ARBs (n = 315) significantly improved FMD (1.36%, 95% confidence internal [CI]:1.28 to 1.44) versus placebo or no treatment (n = 275). In 16 trials that included 1028 patients, ARBs (n = 486) had a significant effect (0.59%, 95% CI: 0.25 to 0.94) on FMD when compared with other antihypertensives (n = 542). In 8 trials, ARBs (n = 174) had no significant effect (−0.14%, 95% CI: −0.32 to 0.03) compared with ACEI (n = 173). Compared with others, the benefits of ARBs, respectively, were 1.67% (95% CI: 0.65 to 0.93) in 7 trials with CCBs, 0.79% (95% CI: 0.42 to 1.01) with β-blockers in 3 trials and 0.9% (95% CI: 0.77 to 1.03) with diuretics in 3 trials. Importantly, we found ARBs were less effective in a long time span (95% CI: −1.990 to −0.622) than the first 6 months (95% CI: −0.484 to 0.360). Conclusions This study shows that ARBs improve peripheral endothelial function and are superior to CCBs, β-blockers and diuretics. However, the effect couldn't be maintained for a long time. In addition, there was no significant difference between ARBs and ACEI. PMID:24595033
Pirbaglou, Meysam; Katz, Joel; de Souza, Russell J; Stearns, Jennifer C; Motamed, Mehras; Ritvo, Paul
Gastrointestinal microbiota, consisting of microbial communities in the gastrointestinal tract, play an important role in digestive, metabolic, and immune functioning. Preclinical studies on rodents have linked behavioral and neurochemical changes in the central nervous system with deficits or alterations in these bacterial communities. Moreover, probiotic supplementation in rodents has been shown to markedly change behavior, with correlated changes in central neurochemistry. While such studies have documented behavioral and mood-related supplementation effects, the significance of these effects in humans, especially in relation to anxiety and depression symptoms, are relatively unknown. Thus, the purpose of this paper was to systematically evaluate current literature on the impact of probiotic supplementation on anxiety and depression symptoms in humans. To this end, multiple databases, including Medline, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for randomized controlled trials published between January 1990 and January 2016. Search results led to a total of 10 randomized controlled trials (4 in clinically diagnosed and 6 in non-clinical samples) that provided limited support for the use of some probiotics in reducing human anxiety and depression. Despite methodological limitations of the included trials and the complex nature of gut-brain interactions, results suggest the detection of apparent psychological benefits from probiotic supplementation. Nevertheless a better understanding of developmental, modulatory, and metagenomic influences on the GI microbiota, specifically as they relate to mood and mental health, represent strong priorities for future research in this area. PMID:27632908
Objective Incomplete recovery from facial palsy has a long-term impact on the quality of life, and medical options for the sequelae of Bell's palsy are limited. Invasive treatments and physiotherapy have been employed to relieve symptoms, but there is limited clinical evidence for their effectiveness. Acupuncture is widely used on Bell's palsy patients in East Asia, but there is insufficient evidence for its effectiveness on Bell's palsy sequelae. The objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with sequelae of Bell's palsy. Method/Design This study consists of a randomized controlled trial with two parallel arms: an acupuncture group and a waitlist group. The acupuncture group will receive acupuncture treatment three times per week for a total of 24 sessions over 8 weeks. Participants in the waitlist group will not receive any acupuncture treatments during this 8 week period, but they will participate in the evaluations of symptoms at the start of the study, at 5 weeks and at 8 weeks after randomization, at which point the same treatment as the acupuncture group will be provided. The primary outcome will be analyzed by the change in the Facial Disability Index (FDI) from baseline to week eight. The secondary outcome measures will include FDI from baseline to week five, House-Brackmann Grade, lip mobility, and stiffness scales. Trial registration Current Controlled-Trials ISRCTN43104115; registration date: 06 July 2010; the date of the first patient's randomization: 04 August 2010 PMID:21388554
Wang, Tao; Deng, Renli; Tan, Jing-Yu; Guan, Feng-Guang
This study aims at concluding the current evidence on the therapeutic effects of acupoints stimulation for cancer patients with anxiety and depression. Randomized controlled trials using acupoints stimulation for relieving anxiety and/or depression in cancer patients were searched, and 11 studies were finally included, of which eight trials compared acupoints stimulation with standard methods of treatment/care, and acupoints stimulation showed significantly better effects in improving depression than using standard methods of treatment/care. Four studies compared true acupoints stimulation with sham methods, and no significant differences can be found between groups for either depression or anxiety, although the pooled effects still favored true intervention. For the five studies that evaluated sleep quality, the results were conflicting, with three supporting the superiority of acupoints stimulation in improving sleep quality and two demonstrating no differences across groups. Acupoints stimulation seems to be an effective approach in relieving depression and anxiety in cancer patients, and placebo effects may partially contribute to the benefits. However, the evidence is not conclusive due to the limited number of included studies and the clinical heterogeneity identified among trials. More rigorous designed randomized, sham-controlled studies are necessary in future research. PMID:27118981
White, Vanessa; Wakefield, Melanie A; Jamsen, Kris M; White, Victoria; Livingston, Patricia M; English, Dallas R; Simpson, Julie A
Objective To examine whether students use or avoid newly shaded areas created by shade sails installed at schools. Design Cluster randomised controlled trial with secondary schools as the unit of randomisation. Setting 51 secondary schools with limited available shade, in Australia, assessed over two spring and summer terms. Participants Students outside at lunch times. Intervention Purpose built shade sails were installed in winter 2005 at full sun study sites to increase available shade for students in the school grounds. Main outcome measure Mean number of students using the primary study sites during weekly observations at lunch time. Results Over the study period the mean change in students using the primary study site from pre-test to post-test was 2.63 (95% confidence interval 0.87 to 4.39) students in intervention schools and −0.03 (−1.16 to 1.09) students in control schools. The difference in mean change between groups was 2.67 (0.65 to 4.68) students (P=0.011). Conclusions Students used rather than avoided newly shaded areas provided by purpose built shade sails at secondary schools in this trial, suggesting a practical means of reducing adolescents’ exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Trial registration Exempt. PMID:19223344
Cramer, Holger; Ward, Lesley; Saper, Robert; Fishbein, Daniel; Dobos, Gustav; Lauche, Romy
As yoga has gained popularity as a therapeutic intervention, its safety has been questioned in the lay press. Thus, this review aimed to systematically assess and meta-analyze the frequency of adverse events in randomized controlled trials of yoga. MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and IndMED were screened through February 2014. Of 301 identified randomized controlled trials of yoga, 94 (1975-2014; total of 8,430 participants) reported on adverse events. Life-threatening, disabling adverse events or those requiring intensive treatment were defined as serious and all other events as nonserious. No differences in the frequency of intervention-related, nonserious, or serious adverse events and of dropouts due to adverse events were found when comparing yoga with usual care or exercise. Compared with psychological or educational interventions (e.g., health education), more intervention-related adverse events (odds ratio = 4.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 17.67; P = 0.05) and more nonserious adverse events (odds ratio = 7.30, 95% confidence interval: 1.91, 27.92; P < 0.01) occurred in the yoga group; serious adverse events and dropouts due to adverse events were comparable between groups. Findings from this review indicate that yoga appears as safe as usual care and exercise. The adequate reporting of safety data in future randomized trials of yoga is crucial to conclusively judge its safety.
Kim, Tae-Hun; Cho, Ki-Ho; Jung, Woo-Sang; Lee, Myeong Soo
Objective We conducted systematic review to evaluate current evidence of herbal medicines (HMs) for Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods Along with hand searches, relevant literatures were located from the electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, PsycInfo, CNKI, 7 Korean Medical Databases and J-East until August, 2010 without language and publication status. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomized controlled trials and randomized crossover trials, which evaluate HMs for idiopathic PD were selected for this review. Two independent authors extracted data from the relevant literatures and any disagreement was solved by discussion. Results From the 3432 of relevant literatures, 64 were included. We failed to suggest overall estimates of treatment effects on PD because of the wide heterogeneity of used herbal recipes and study designs in the included studies. When compared with placebo, specific effects were not observed in favor of HMs definitely. Direct comparison with conventional drugs suggested that there was no evidence of better effect for HMs. Many studies compared combination therapy with single active drugs and combination therapy showed significant improvement in PD related outcomes and decrease in the dose of anti-Parkinson's drugs with low adverse events rate. Conclusion Currently, there is no conclusive evidence about the effectiveness and efficacy of HMs on PD. For establishing clinical evidence of HMs on PD, rigorous RCTs with sufficient statistical power should be promoted in future. PMID:22615738
Liang, Xiao; Zhou, Miao; Feng, Jiao-Jiao; Wu, Liang; Fang, Shang-Ping; Ge, Xin-Yu; Sun, Hai-Jing; Ren, Peng-Cheng; Lv, Xin
Purpose: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a frequent complication in postoperative period. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to assess the efficacy of dexmedetomidine on PONV. Methods: Two researchers independently searched PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The meta-analysis was performed with Review Manager. Results: Eighty-two trials with 6,480 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Dexmedetomidine reduced postoperative nausea (Risk Ratio (RR) = 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50 to 0.73) and vomiting (RR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.36 to 0.64) compared with placebo, with an effective dose of 0.5 ug/kg (RR = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.34 to 0.62) and 1.0 ug/kg (RR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.75), respectively. The antiemetic effect can only be achieved intravenously, not epidurally or intrathecally. The efficacy of dexmedetomidine was similar to that of widely used agents, such as propofol, midazolam etc., but better than opioid analgesics. Moreover, application of dexmedetomidine reduced intraoperative requirement of fentanyl (Standard Mean Difference = -1.91, 95% CI: -3.20 to -0.62). Conclusions: The present meta-analysis indicates that dexmedetomidine shows superiority to placebo, but not to all other anesthetic agents on PONV. And this efficacy may be related to a reduced consumption of intraoperative opioids. PMID:26550123
Visser, Marlieke; Niessen, Hans W. M.; Kok, Wouter E. M.; Cocchieri, Riccardo; Wisselink, Willem; van Leeuwen, Paul A. M.; de Mol, Bas A. J. M.
Major surgery induces a long fasting time and provokes an inflammatory response which increases the risk of infections. Nutrition given before and during surgery can avoid fasting and has been shown to increase the arginine/asymmetric dimetlhylarginine ratio, a marker of nitric oxide availability, in cardiac tissue and increased concentrations of branched chain amino acids in blood plasma. However, the effect of this new nutritional strategy on organ inflammatory response is unknown. Therefore, we studied the effect of nutrition before and during cardiac surgery on myocardial inflammatory response. In this trial, 32 patients were randomised between enteral, parenteral, and no nutrition supplementation (control) from 2 days before, during, up to 2 days after coronary artery bypass grafting. Both solutions included proteins or amino acids, glucose, vitamins, and minerals. Myocardial atrial tissue was sampled before and after revascularization and was analysed immunohistochemically, subdivided into cardiomyocytic, fatty, and fibrotic areas. Inflammatory cells, especially leukocytes, were present in cardiac tissue in all study groups. No significant differences were found in the myocardial inflammatory response between the enteral, parenteral, and control groups. In conclusion, nutrition given before and during surgery neither stimulates nor diminishes the myocardial inflammatory response in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. The trial was registered in Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR2183. PMID:26294967
Background Our aim was to evaluate the recovery effects of hydrotherapy after aerobic exercise in cardiovascular, performance and perceived fatigue. Methods A pragmatic controlled repeated measures; single-blind trial was conducted. Thirty-four recreational sportspeople visited a Sport-Centre and were assigned to a Hydrotherapy group (experimental) or rest in a bed (control) after completing a spinning session. Main outcomes measures including blood pressure, heart rate, handgrip strength, vertical jump, self-perceived fatigue, and body temperature were assessed at baseline, immediately post-exercise and post-recovery. The hypothesis of interest was the session*time interaction. Results The analysis revealed significant session*time interactions for diastolic blood pressure (P=0.031), heart rate (P=0.041), self perceived fatigue (P=0.046), and body temperature (P=0.001); but not for vertical jump (P=0.437), handgrip (P=0.845) or systolic blood pressure (P=0.266). Post-hoc analysis revealed that hydrotherapy resulted in recovered heart rate and diastolic blood pressure similar to baseline values after the spinning session. Further, hydrotherapy resulted in decreased self-perceived fatigue after the spinning session. Conclusions Our results support that hydrotherapy is an adequate strategy to facilitate cardiovascular recovers and perceived fatigue, but not strength, after spinning exercise. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01765387 PMID:23866725
Osrin, David; Azad, Kishwar; Fernandez, Armida; Manandhar, Dharma S; Mwansambo, Charles W; Tripathy, Prasanta; Costello, Anthony M
Public health interventions usually operate at the level of groups rather than individuals, and cluster randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are one means of evaluating their effectiveness. Using examples from six such trials in Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Nepal, we discuss our experience of the ethical issues that arise in their conduct. We set cluster RCTs in the broader context of public health research, highlighting debates about the need to reconcile individual autonomy with the common good and about the ethics of public health research in low-income settings in general. After a brief introduction to cluster RCTs, we discuss particular challenges we have faced. These include the nature of - and responsibility for - group consent, and the need for consent by individuals within groups to intervention and data collection. We discuss the timing of consent in relation to the implementation of public health strategies, and the problem of securing ethical review and approval in a complex domain. Finally, we consider the debate about benefits to control groups and the standard of care that they should receive, and the issue of post-trial adoption of the intervention under test.
Murtaugh, Kimberly Ling; Krishnamurti, Tamar; Davis, Alexander L.; Reback, Cathy J.; Shoptaw, Steven
Objective This secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial tested two behavioral economics mechanisms (substitutability and delay discounting) to explain outcomes using contingency management (CM) for methamphetamine dependence. Frequency and purchase type (hedonic/utilitarian and consumable/durable) of CM payments were also examined. Methods 82 methamphetamine-dependent gay/bisexual men randomly assigned to conditions delivering CM received monetary vouchers in exchange for stimulant-negative urine samples in a 16-week trial requiring thrice weekly visits (Shoptaw et al., 2005). At any visit participants could redeem vouchers for goods. A time-lagged counting process Cox Proportional Hazards model for recurrent event survival analysis examined aspects of the frequency and type of these CM purchases. Results After controlling for severity of baseline methamphetamine use and accumulated CM wealth, as measured by cumulative successful earning days, participants who redeemed CM earnings at any visit (“spenders”) were significantly more likely to produce stimulant-negative urine samples in the subsequent visit, compared to those who did not redeem (“savers”) 1.011* [1.005, 1.017], Z=3.43, p<0.001. Conclusions Findings support the economic concept of substitutability of CM purchases and explain trial outcomes as a function of frequency of CM purchases rather than frequency or accumulated total CM earnings. Promotion of frequent purchases in incentive-based programs should facilitate substitution for the perceived value of methamphetamine and improve abstinence outcomes. PMID:24001246
Ko, Youme; Sasaki, Yui; Hwang, Eui-Hyoung; Song, Yun-Kyung; Shin, Yong-Cheol
Objective. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines in the management of metabolic syndrome. Materials and Methods. On December 9, 2015, we searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, AMED, CNKI, KoreaMed, KMBASE, OASIS, and J-STAGE with no restriction on language or published year. We selected randomized controlled trials that involved patients with metabolic syndrome being treated with herbal medicines as intervention. The main keywords were “Chinese herbal medicines”, “metabolic syndrome”, and “randomized controlled trials”. Herbal substances which were not based on East Asian medical theory, combination therapy with western medicines, and concurrent diseases other than metabolic syndrome were excluded. The risk of bias was assessed by Cochrane's “Risk of Bias” tool. The protocol or review was registered in PROSPERO (an international prospective register of systematic reviews) (CRD42014006842). Results. From 1,098 articles, 12 RCTs were included in this review: five trials studied herbal medicines versus a placebo or no treatment, and seven trials studied herbal medicines versus western medicines. Herbal medicines were effective on decreasing waist circumference, blood glucose, blood lipids, and blood pressure. Conclusion. This study suggests the possibility that herbal medicines can be complementary and alternative medicines for metabolic syndrome. PMID:27413388
Hartanto, T A; Krafft, C E; Iosif, A M; Schweitzer, J B
Hyperactivity is a key symptom and the most observable manifestation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The over-activity associated with ADHD can cause specific challenges in academic settings, extracurricular activities and social relationships. Cognitive control challenges are also well established in ADHD. The current study included 44 children between the ages of 10 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD or who were typically developing (TD), all of whom had no psychiatric co-morbidity or significant learning disorders. Participants wore an actometer on their ankle while performing a flanker paradigm in order to objectively measure their rates of activity in association with cognitive control. Analyses assessed the relationship between frequency and intensity of activity to task accuracy on a trial-by-trial basis. A significant interaction effect between group and performance revealed that more intense movement was associated with better performance in the ADHD group but not in the TD group. The ADHD group demonstrated more intense activity than the TD group during correct (but not error) trials. Within-group, children with ADHD generated higher intensity movements in their correct trials compared to their error trials, whereas the TD group did not demonstrate any within-group differences. These findings suggest that excessive motoric activity associated with clinically significant ADHD symptoms may reflect compensatory efforts to modulate attention and alertness. Future research should systematically explore the relationship between motion in ADHD and how it might be used to improve cognitive performance.
Hartanto, T.A.; Krafft, C.E.; Iosif, A.M.; Schweitzer, J.B.
Hyperactivity is a key symptom and the most observable manifestation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The over-activity associated with ADHD can cause specific challenges in academic settings, extracurricular activities and social relationships. Cognitive control challenges are also well-established in ADHD. The current study included 44 children between the ages of 10 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD or who were typically developing (TD), all of whom had no psychiatric co-morbidity or significant learning disorders. Participants wore an actometer on their ankle while performing a flanker paradigm in order to objectively measure their rates of activity in association with cognitive control. Analyses assessed the relationship between frequency and intensity of activity to task accuracy on trial by trial basis. A significant interaction effect between group and performance revealed that more intense movement was associated with better performance in the ADHD, but not TD group. The ADHD group demonstrated more intense activity than the TD group during correct (but not error) trials. Within-group, children with ADHD generated higher intensity movements in their correct trials compared to their error trials, whereas the TD group did not demonstrate any within-group differences. These findings suggest that excessive motoric activity associated with clinically significant ADHD symptoms may reflect compensatory efforts to modulate attention and alertness. Future research should systematically explore the relationship between motion in ADHD and how it might be used to improve cognitive performance. PMID:26059476
Garvin, Eugenia C; Cannuscio, Carolyn C; Branas, Charles C
Background Vacant lots are often overgrown with unwanted vegetation and filled with trash, making them attractive places to hide illegal guns, conduct illegal activities such as drug sales and prostitution, and engage in violent crime. There is some evidence that greening vacant lots is associated with reductions in violent crime. Methods We performed a randomised controlled trial of vacant lot greening to test the impact of this intervention on police reported crime and residents’ perceptions of safety and disorder. Greening consisted of cleaning the lots, planting grass and trees, and building a wooden fence around the perimeter. We randomly allocated two vacant lot clusters to the greening intervention or to the control status (no intervention). Administrative data were used to determine crime rates, and local resident interviews at baseline (n=29) and at follow-up (n=21) were used to assess perceptions of safety and disorder. Results Unadjusted difference-in-differences estimates showed a non-significant decrease in the number of total crimes and gun assaults around greened vacant lots compared with control. People around the intervention vacant lots reported feeling significantly safer after greening compared with those living around control vacant lots (p<0.01). Conclusions In this study, greening was associated with reductions in certain gun crimes and improvements in residents’ perceptions of safety. A larger randomised controlled trial is needed to further investigate the link between vacant lot greening and violence reduction. PMID:22871378
Stapleton, Jerod L.; Manne, Sharon L.; Darabos, Katie; Greene, Kathryn; Ray, Anne E.; Turner, Amber L.; Coups, Elliot J.
Objective This manuscript describes the acceptability and preliminary behavioral outcomes from a pilot randomized control trial of a web-based indoor tanning intervention for young adult women. The intervention targets indoor tanning user’s perceptions of then benefits and value of tanning and addresses the role of body image-related constructs in indoor tanning. Methods Participants were 186 young adult women who reported indoor tanning at least once in the past 12 months. The study design was a 2-arm randomized controlled trial with pre and post assessments and random assignment to an intervention or control condition. Intervention acceptability was assessed by obtaining participants’ evaluation of the intervention. Regression analyses were used to test for intervention condition differences in preliminary behavioral outcomes measured at 6-weeks post-intervention. Results Participants provided favorable evaluations of the intervention on several dimensions and a highly positive overall rating. Intervention participants were more likely to report abstaining from indoor tanning and indicated a lower likelihood of using indoor tanning in the future compared to control participants on the post-intervention assessment. No differences were found for sunburns. Conclusions The results of this pilot randomized controlled trial provide evidence that the indoor tanning intervention is acceptable to participants and may encourage cessation of indoor tanning behavior. The findings provide preliminary support for an indoor tanning intervention that engages tanners to challenge their beliefs about the benefits of indoor tanning. The use of a web-based indoor tanning intervention is unique and provides strong potential for dissemination. PMID:26651469
Wild, Sarah H.; Hanley, Janet; Lewis, Stephanie C.; McKnight, John A.; Padfield, Paul L.; Parker, Richard A.; Pinnock, Hilary; Sheikh, Aziz; McKinstry, Brian
Background Self-monitoring of blood glucose among people with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin does not appear to be effective in improving glycemic control. We investigated whether health professional review of telemetrically transmitted self-monitored glucose results in improved glycemic control in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Methods and Findings We performed a randomized, parallel, investigator-blind controlled trial with centralized randomization in family practices in four regions of the United Kingdom among 321 people with type 2 diabetes and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) >58 mmol/mol. The supported telemonitoring intervention involved self-measurement and transmission to a secure website of twice-weekly morning and evening glucose for review by family practice clinicians who were not blinded to allocation group. The control group received usual care, with at least annual review and more frequent reviews for people with poor glycemic or blood pressure control. HbA1c assessed at 9 mo was the primary outcome. Intention-to-treat analyses were performed. 160 people were randomized to the intervention group and 161 to the usual care group between June 6, 2011, and July 19, 2013. HbA1c data at follow-up were available for 146 people in the intervention group and 139 people in the control group. The mean (SD) HbA1c at follow-up was 63.0 (15.5) mmol/mol in the intervention group and 67.8 (14.7) mmol/mol in the usual care group. For primary analysis, adjusted mean HbA1c was 5.60 mmol/mol / 0.51% lower (95% CI 2.38 to 8.81 mmol/mol/ 95% CI 0.22% to 0.81%, p = 0·0007). For secondary analyses, adjusted mean ambulatory systolic blood pressure was 3.06 mmHg lower (95% CI 0.56–5.56 mmHg, p = 0.017) and mean ambulatory diastolic blood pressure was 2.17 mmHg lower (95% CI 0.62–3.72, p = 0.006) among people in the intervention group when compared with usual care after adjustment for baseline differences and minimization strata. No significant
Morello, Renata T; Wolfe, Rory; Brand, Caroline A; Haines, Terry P; Hill, Keith D; Brauer, Sandra G; Botti, Mari; Cumming, Robert G; Livingston, Patricia M; Sherrington, Catherine; Zavarsek, Silva; Lindley, Richard I; Kamar, Jeannette
Objective To evaluate the effect of the 6-PACK programme on falls and fall injuries in acute wards. Design Cluster randomised controlled trial. Setting Six Australian hospitals. Participants All patients admitted to 24 acute wards during the trial period. Interventions Participating wards were randomly assigned to receive either the nurse led 6-PACK programme or usual care over 12 months. The 6-PACK programme included a fall risk tool and individualised use of one or more of six interventions: “falls alert” sign, supervision of patients in the bathroom, ensuring patients’ walking aids are within reach, a toileting regimen, use of a low-low bed, and use of a bed/chair alarm. Main outcome measures The co-primary outcomes were falls and fall injuries per 1000 occupied bed days. Results During the trial, 46 245 admissions to 16 medical and eight surgical wards occurred. As many people were admitted more than once, this represented 31 411 individual patients. Patients’ characteristics and length of stay were similar for intervention and control wards. Use of 6-PACK programme components was higher on intervention wards than on control wards (incidence rate ratio 3.05, 95% confidence interval 2.14 to 4.34; P<0.001). In all, 1831 falls and 613 fall injuries occurred, and the rates of falls (incidence rate ratio 1.04, 0.78 to 1.37; P=0.796) and fall injuries (0.96, 0.72 to 1.27; P=0.766) were similar in intervention and control wards. Conclusions Positive changes in falls prevention practice occurred following the introduction of the 6-PACK programme. However, no difference was seen in falls or fall injuries between groups. High quality evidence showing the effectiveness of falls prevention interventions in acute wards remains absent. Novel solutions to the problem of in-hospital falls are urgently needed. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000332921. PMID:26813674
Tokolahi, Ema; Hocking, Clare; Kersten, Paula; Vandal, Alain C.
Growing use of cluster randomized control trials (RCTs) in health care research requires careful attention to study designs, with implications for the development of an evidence base for practice. The objective of this study is to investigate the characteristics, quality, and reporting of cluster RCTs evaluating occupational therapy interventions to inform future research design. An extensive search of cluster RCTs evaluating occupational therapy was conducted in several databases. Fourteen studies met our inclusion criteria; four were protocols. Eleven (79%) justified the use of a cluster RCT and accounted for clustering in the sample size and analysis. All full studies reported the number of clusters randomized, and five reported intercluster correlation coefficients (50%): Protocols had higher compliance. Risk of bias was most evident in unblinding of participants. Statistician involvement was associated with improved trial quality and reporting. Quality of cluster RCTs of occupational therapy interventions is comparable with those from other areas of health research and needs improvement. PMID:27504689
Hill, Martin; Skýba, Tomáš
The objective was to evaluate the effects of a hypoallergenic (HA) formula supplemented with prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the severity of atopic manifestations. A randomised clinical trial was conducted. The control group was infants, fed with hypoallergenic formula and without supplementation. The duration of the study was six months. The primary outcome of the study was a difference in the severity of atopic dermatitis measured using SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis) criteria. Secondary outcomes were anthropometry (length, weight, and head circumference), together with the tolerance and incidence of infections. Both groups showed a decrease of average SCORAD values, but no statistically significant difference between the evaluated groups was observed. There were no statistically significant differences in anthropometry, or the tolerance or incidence of infections. Although there is no evidence, that consumption of a hypoallergenic infant formula enriched with prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides had any effect on SCORAD, it was safe and well tolerated. Trial Registration www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT 02077088 PMID:26571488
Wyatt, Jeremy C
There is a persistent view of a significant minority in the medical informatics community that the randomized controlled trial (RCT) has a limited role to play in evaluating clinical information systems. A common reason voiced by skeptics is that these systems are fundamentally different from drug interventions, so the RCT is irrelevant. There is an urgent need to promote the use of RCTs, given the shift to evidence-based policy and the need to demonstrate cost-effectiveness of these systems. The authors suggest returning to first principles and argue that what is required is clarity about how to match methods to evaluation questions. The authors address common concerns about RCTs, and the extent to which they are fallacious, and also discuss the challenges of conducting RCTs in informatics and alternative study designs when randomized trials are infeasible. While neither a perfect nor universal evaluation method, RCTs form an important part of an evaluator's toolkit. PMID:21270132
Munro, A. J.
Meta-analysis of the published results from 54 randomised controlled trials of adjuvant chemotherapy in head and neck cancer suggests that chemotherapy might increase absolute survival by 6.5% (95% confidence interval 3.1-9.9%). The odds ratio in favour of chemotherapy is 1.37 (95% confidence interval 1.24-1.5). Single-agent chemotherapy given synchronously with radiotherapy increased survival by 12.1% (95% confidence interval 5-19%). The benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy was less: a rate difference of 3.7% (95% confidence interval 0.9-6.5%). The results suggest that the investigation of optimal agents and scheduling for synchronous radiotherapy and chemotherapy might still be important in clinical trials in head and neck cancer. PMID:7819055
Ebrahim, S.; Smith, G. D.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of multiple risk factor intervention in reducing cardiovascular risk factors, total mortality, and mortality from coronary heart disease among adults. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in workforces and in primary care in which subjects were randomly allocated to more than one of six interventions (stopping smoking, exercise, dietary advice, weight control, antihypertensive drugs, and cholesterol lowering drugs) and followed up for at least six months. SUBJECTS: Adults aged 17-73 years, 903000 person years of observation were included in nine trials with clinical event outcomes and 303000 person years in five trials with risk factor outcomes alone. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, smoking rates, blood cholesterol concentrations, total mortality, and mortality from coronary heart disease. RESULTS: Net decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, smoking prevalence, and blood cholesterol were 4.2 mm Hg (SE 0.19 mm Hg), 2.7 mm Hg (0.09 mm Hg), 4.2% (0.3%), and 0.14 mmol/l (0.01 mmol/l) respectively. In the nine trials with clinical event end points the pooled odds ratios for total and coronary heart disease mortality were 0.97 (95% confidence interval 0.92 to 1.02) and 0.96 (0.88 to 1.04) respectively. Statistical heterogeneity between the studies with respect to changes in mortality and risk factors was due to trials focusing on hypertensive participants and those using considerable amounts of drug treatment, with only these trials showing significant reductions in mortality. CONCLUSIONS: The pooled effects of multiple risk factor intervention on mortality were insignificant and a small, but potentially important, benefit of treatment (about a 10% reduction in mortality) may have been missed. Changes in risk factors were modest, were related to the amount of pharmacological treatment used, and in some cases may have been overestimated
Chan, Agnes S.; Sze, Sophia L.; Siu, Nicolson Y.; Lau, Eliza M.; Cheung, Mei-chun
Self-control problems commonly manifest as temper outbursts and repetitive/rigid/impulsive behaviors, in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which often contributes to learning difficulties and caregiver burden. The present study aims to compare the effect of a traditional Chinese Chan-based mind-body exercise, Nei Yang Gong, with that of the conventional Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) technique in enhancing the self-control of children with ASD. Forty-six age- and IQ-matched ASD children were randomly assigned to receive group training in Nei Yang Gong (experimental group) or PMR (control group) twice per week for four weeks. The participants’ self-control was measured by three neuropsychological tests and parental rating on standardized questionnaires, and the underlying neural mechanism was assessed by the participants’ brain EEG activity during an inhibitory-control task before and after intervention. The results show that the experimental group demonstrated significantly greater improvement in self-control than the control group, which concurs with the parental reports of reduced autistic symptoms and increased control of temper and behaviors. In addition, the experimental group showed enhanced EEG activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region that mediates self-control, whereas the PMR group did not. The present findings support the potential application of Chinese Chan-based mind-body exercises as a form of neuropsychological rehabilitation for patients with self-control problems. Chinese Clinical Trial Registry; Registration No.: ChiCTR-TRC-12002561; URL: www.chictr.org. PMID:23874533
Nagayama, Hirofumi; Tomori, Kounosuke; Ohno, Kanta; Takahashi, Kayoko; Yamauchi, Keita
A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people was conducted. MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, OT seeker and unpublished trials registers were searched. Reference lists of all potentially eligible studies were searched with no language restrictions. We included trial-based full economic evaluations that considered both costs and outcomes in occupational therapy for older people compared with standard care (i.e. other therapy) or no intervention. We reviewed each trial for methodological quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and assessed the quality of economic evaluations using a Drummond checklist. In the results of this review, we included five eligible studies (1-5) that were randomized controlled trials with high-quality economic evaluation. Two studies were full economic evaluations of interventions for fall prevention (1 and 2); two studies were full economic evaluations of preventive occupational therapy interventions (3 and 4; one was a comparison of an occupational therapy group with a social work group); one study was a full economic evaluation of occupational therapy for individuals with dementia (5). Two of the studies (one was preventive occupational therapy  and the other was occupational therapy for dementia ) found a significant effect and confirmed the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people compared with the control group. These studies found that occupational therapy for older people was clinically effective and cost-effective in comparison with standard care or other therapies. With reference to their clinical implication, these intervention studies (using a client-centred approach) suggested potentially cost-effective means to motivate clients to maintain their own health. However, this review has limitations because of the high heterogeneity of the reviewed studies on full economic evaluations of occupational therapy for older people. Future
Nagayama, Hirofumi; Tomori, Kounosuke; Ohno, Kanta; Takahashi, Kayoko; Yamauchi, Keita
A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people was conducted. MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, OT seeker and unpublished trials registers were searched. Reference lists of all potentially eligible studies were searched with no language restrictions. We included trial-based full economic evaluations that considered both costs and outcomes in occupational therapy for older people compared with standard care (i.e. other therapy) or no intervention. We reviewed each trial for methodological quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and assessed the quality of economic evaluations using a Drummond checklist. In the results of this review, we included five eligible studies (1-5) that were randomized controlled trials with high-quality economic evaluation. Two studies were full economic evaluations of interventions for fall prevention (1 and 2); two studies were full economic evaluations of preventive occupational therapy interventions (3 and 4; one was a comparison of an occupational therapy group with a social work group); one study was a full economic evaluation of occupational therapy for individuals with dementia (5). Two of the studies (one was preventive occupational therapy  and the other was occupational therapy for dementia ) found a significant effect and confirmed the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapy for older people compared with the control group. These studies found that occupational therapy for older people was clinically effective and cost-effective in comparison with standard care or other therapies. With reference to their clinical implication, these intervention studies (using a client-centred approach) suggested potentially cost-effective means to motivate clients to maintain their own health. However, this review has limitations because of the high heterogeneity of the reviewed studies on full economic evaluations of occupational therapy for older people. Future
Background Mental health inpatients smoke at higher rates than the general population and are disproportionately affected by tobacco dependence. Despite the advent of smoke free policies within mental health hospitals, limited systems are in place to support a cessation attempt post hospitalisation, and international evidence suggests that most smokers return to pre-admission smoking levels following discharge. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial that will test the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of linking inpatient smoking care with ongoing community cessation support for smokers with a mental illness. Methods/Design This study will be conducted as a randomised controlled trial. 200 smokers with an acute mental illness will be recruited from a large inpatient mental health facility. Participants will complete a baseline survey and will be randomised to either a multimodal smoking cessation intervention or provided with hospital smoking care only. Randomisation will be stratified by diagnosis (psychotic, non-psychotic). Intervention participants will be provided with a brief motivational interview in the inpatient setting and options of ongoing smoking cessation support post discharge: nicotine replacement therapy (NRT); referral to Quitline; smoking cessation groups; and fortnightly telephone support. Outcome data, including cigarettes smoked per day, quit attempts, and self-reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence (validated by exhaled carbon monoxide), will be collected via blind interview at one week, two months, four months and six months post discharge. Process information will also be collected, including the use of cessation supports and cost of the intervention. Discussion This study will provide comprehensive data on the potential of an integrated, multimodal smoking cessation intervention for persons with an acute mental illness, linking inpatient with community cessation support. Trial Registration Australian and New Zealand
Juraschek, Stephen P.; Miller, Edgar R.; Gelber, Allan C.
Objective To assess the effect of vitamin C supplementation on serum uric acid (SUA) by pooling the findings from published randomized, controlled trials (RCTs). Methods A total of 2,082 publications identified through systematic search were subjected to the following inclusion criteria: (1) RCTs conducted on human subjects; (2) reported end-trial SUA means and variance; (3) study design with oral vitamin C supplementation and concurrent control groups; and (4) trial duration of at least one week. Trials that enrolled children or patients on dialysis were excluded. Two investigators independently abstracted trial and participant characteristics. SUA effects were pooled by random-effects models and weighted by inverse variance. Results Thirteen RCTs were identified in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases. The total number of participants was 556, median dose of vitamin C was 500 mg/d, trial size ranged from 8 to 184 participants, and median study duration was 30 days. Pretreatment SUA values ranged from 2.9 to 7.0 mg/dL (SI: 172.5 – 416.4 μmol/L). The combined effect of these trials was a significant reduction in SUA of -0.35 mg/dL (95% CI: -0.66, -0.03; P = 0.032; SI: -20.8 μmol/L). Trial heterogeneity was significant (I2 = 77%; P < 0.01). Subgroup analyses based on trial characteristics indicated larger reductions in uric acid in trials that were placebo-controlled. Conclusions In aggregate, vitamin C supplementation significantly lowered SUA. Future trials are needed to determine whether vitamin C supplementation can reduce hyperuricemia or prevent incident and recurrent gout. PMID:21671418
Braithwaite, Irene; Hunt, Anna; Riley, Judith; Fingleton, James; Kocks, Janwillem; Corin, Andrew; Helm, Colin; Sheahan, Davitt; Tofield, Christopher; Montgomery, Barney; Holliday, Mark; Weatherall, Mark; Beasley, Richard
Objective To investigate the efficacy of topical 90% medical-grade kanuka honey and 10% glycerine (Honevo) as a treatment for rosacea. Design Randomised controlled trial with blinded assessment of primary outcome variable. Setting Outpatient primary healthcare population from 5 New Zealand sites. Participants 138 adults aged ≥16, with a diagnosis of rosacea, and a baseline blinded Investigator Global Assessment of Rosacea Severity Score (IGA-RSS) of ≥2. 69 participants were randomised to each treatment arm. 1 participant was excluded from the Honevo group, and 7 and 15 participants withdrew from the Honevo and control groups, respectively. Interventions Participants were randomly allocated 1:1 to Honevo or control cream (Cetomacrogol), applied twice daily for 8 weeks. Main outcome measures The primary outcome measure was the proportion of participants who had a ≥2 improvement in the 7-point IGA-RSS at week 8 compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included change in IGA-RSS and subject-rated visual analogue score of change in severity (VAS-CS) on a 100 mm scale (0 mm ‘much worse’, 100 mm ‘much improved’) at weeks 2 and 8. Results 24/68 (34.3%) in the Honevo group and 12/69 (17.4%) in the control group had a ≥2 improvement in IGA-RSS at week 8 compared to baseline (relative risk 2.03; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.72, p=0.020). The change in IGA-RSS for Honevo compared to control at week 2 minus baseline was −1 (Hodges-Lehman estimate, 95% CI −1 to 0, p=0.03), and at week 8 minus baseline was −1 (Hodges-Lehman estimate, 95% CI −1 to 0, p=0.005). The VAS-CS at week 2 was 9.1 (95% CI 3.5 to 14.7), p=0.002, and at week 8 was 12.3 (95% CI 5.7 to 18.9)¸ p<0.001 for Honevo compared to control. Conclusions Honevo is an effective treatment for rosacea. Trial registration number This trial was registered in the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12614000004662. PMID:26109117
Aga, Anna-Birgitte; Olsen, Inge Christoffer; Lillegraven, Siri; Hammer, Hilde B; Uhlig, Till; Fremstad, Hallvard; Madland, Tor Magne; Lexberg, Åse Stavland; Haukeland, Hilde; Rødevand, Erik; Høili, Christian; Stray, Hilde; Noraas, Anne; Hansen, Inger Johanne Widding; Bakland, Gunnstein; Nordberg, Lena Bugge; van der Heijde, Désirée; Kvien, Tore K
Objective To determine whether a treatment strategy based on structured ultrasound assessment would lead to improved outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis, compared with a conventional strategy. Design Multicentre, open label, two arm, parallel group, randomised controlled strategy trial. Setting Ten rheumatology departments and one specialist centre in Norway, from September 2010 to September 2015. Participants 238 patients were recruited between September 2010 and April 2013, of which 230 (141 (61%) female) received the allocated intervention and were analysed for the primary outcome. The main inclusion criteria were age 18-75 years, fulfilment of the 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug naivety with indication for disease modifying drug therapy, and time from first patient reported swollen joint less than two years. Patients with abnormal kidney or liver function or major comorbidities were excluded. Interventions 122 patients were randomised to an ultrasound tight control strategy targeting clinical and imaging remission, and 116 patients were randomised to a conventional tight control strategy targeting clinical remission. Patients in both arms were treated according to the same disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug escalation strategy, with 13 visits over two years. Main outcome measures The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a combination between 16 and 24 months of clinical remission, no swollen joints, and non-progression of radiographic joint damage. Secondary outcomes included measures of disease activity, radiographic progression, functioning, quality of life, and adverse events. All participants who attended at least one follow-up visit were included in the full analysis set. Results 26 (22%) of the 118 analysed patients in the ultrasound tight control arm and 21 (19%) of the 112 analysed patients in the
Talbot, Lisa S.; Maguen, Shira; Metzler, Thomas J.; Schmitz, Martha; McCaslin, Shannon E.; Richards, Anne; Perlis, Michael L.; Posner, Donn A.; Weiss, Brandon; Ruoff, Leslie; Varbel, Jonathan; Neylan, Thomas C.
Study Objectives: Examine whether cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) improves sleep in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as nightmares, nonsleep PTSD symptoms, depression symptoms, and psychosocial functioning. Design: Randomized controlled trial with two arms: CBT-I and monitor-only waitlist control. Setting: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Participants: Forty-five adults (31 females: [mean age 37 y (22-59 y)] with PTSD meeting research diagnostic criteria for insomnia, randomly assigned to CBT-I (n = 29; 22 females) or monitor-only waitlist control (n = 16; nine females). Interventions: Eight-session weekly individual CBT-I delivered by a licensed clinical psychologist or a board-certified psychiatrist. Measurements and Results: Measures included continuous monitoring of sleep with diary and actigraphy; prepolysomnography and postpolysomnography and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS); and pre, mid, and post self-report questionnaires, with follow-up of CBT-I participants 6 mo later. CBT-I was superior to the waitlist control condition in all sleep diary outcomes and in polysomnography-measured total sleep time. Compared to waitlist participants, CBT-I participants reported improved subjective sleep (41% full remission versus 0%), disruptive nocturnal behaviors (based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index-Addendum), and overall work and interpersonal functioning. These effects were maintained at 6-mo follow-up. Both CBT-I and waitlist control participants reported reductions in PTSD symptoms and CAPS-measured nightmares. Conclusions: Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) improved sleep in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, with durable gains at 6 mo. Overall psychosocial functioning improved following CBT-I. The initial evidence regarding CBT-I and nightmares is promising but further research is needed. Results suggest that a comprehensive approach to treatment of posttraumatic stress
Krishnatreya, Manigreeva; Kataki, Amal Chandra
Gall bladder cancer is generally fatal. The high morbidity and mortality due to gall bladder cancer exerts a significant impact on efforts towards cancer control in high risk populations of the World and a rationale program for control of gall bladder cancer mortality has remained as an unmet need in these populations. Currently there are no effective strategies for controlling gall bladder cancer mortality. This mini review is to highlight the need and feasibility for secondary prevention of gall bladder cancer by screening in high risk populations. A way forward is to assess the role of secondary prevention of gall bladder cancers by conducting randomized- controlled screening trials in high risk populations. PMID:27221939
Kravitz, R L; Delafield, J P; Hays, R D; Drazin, R; Conolly, M
Despite advances in the technology of cancer pain assessment and control, cancer pain often remains undertreated even in hospital settings. To determine whether a graphical display of cancer patients' pain levels might improve their treatment, the investigators conducted a randomized controlled trial. Patients assigned to the intervention group (N = 40) had periodic pain assessments by study staff, who graphically recorded their reported pain-intensity levels on bedside wall charts. Control group patients (N = 38) had periodic pain assessments by study staff but did not have this information displayed. The results failed to show a significant beneficial effect of the intervention on pain control, sleep, cancer-related symptoms, or analgesic dosing, but confidence intervals were broad. More research is needed to improve the quality of care for inpatients with cancer-related pain. PMID:8907138
Murphy, G J; Verheyden, V; Wozniak, M; Sullo, N; Dott, W; Bhudia, S; Bittar, N; Morris, T; Ring, A; Tebbatt, A; Kumar, T
Introduction It has been suggested that removal of proinflammatory substances that accumulate in stored donor red cells by mechanical cell washing may attenuate inflammation and organ injury in transfused cardiac surgery patients. This trial will test the hypotheses that the severity of the postoperative inflammatory response will be less and postoperative recovery faster if patients undergoing cardiac surgery receive washed red cells compared with standard care (unwashed red cells). Methods and analysis Adult (≥16 years) cardiac surgery patients identified at being at increased risk for receiving large volume red cell transfusions at 1 of 3 UK cardiac centres will be randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to either red cell washing or standard care. The primary outcome is serum interleukin-8 measured at 5 postsurgery time points up to 96 h. Secondary outcomes will include measures of inflammation, organ injury and volumes of blood transfused and cost-effectiveness. Allocation concealment, internet-based randomisation stratified by operation type and recruiting centre, and blinding of outcome assessors will reduce the risk of bias. The trial will test the superiority of red cell washing versus standard care. A sample size of 170 patients was chosen in order to detect a small-to-moderate target difference, with 80% power and 5% significance (2-tailed). Ethics and dissemination The trial protocol was approved by a UK ethics committee (reference 12/EM/0475). The trial findings will be disseminated in scientific journals and meetings. Trial registration number ISRCTN 27076315. PMID:26977309
Gabriels, Robin L.; Pan, Zhaoxing; Dechant, Briar; Agnew, John A.; Brim, Natalie; Mesibov, Gary
Objective This study expands previous equine-assisted intervention research by evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic horseback riding (THR) on self-regulation, socialization, communication, adaptive, and motor behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method Participants with ASD (ages 6–16 years; N=127) were stratified by nonverbal IQ standard scores (≤ 85 or > 85) and randomized to one of two groups for 10 weeks: THR intervention or a barn activity (BA) control group without horses that employed similar methods. The fidelity of the THR intervention was monitored. Participants were evaluated within one month pre- and post-intervention by raters blind to intervention conditions and unblinded caregiver questionnaires. During the intervention, caregivers rated participants’ behaviors weekly. Results Intent-to-treat analysis conducted on the 116 participants who completed a baseline assessment (THR n = 58; BA control n = 58) revealed significant improvements in the THR group compared to the control on measures of irritability (primary outcome) (p=.002; effect size [ES]=.50) and hyperactivity (p=.001; ES=0.53), beginning by week five of the intervention. Significant improvements in the THR group were also observed on a measure of social cognition (p=.05, ES=.41) and social communication (p=.003; ES =.63), along with the total number of words (p=.01; ES=.54) and new words (p=.01; ES=.54) spoken during a standardized language sample. Sensitivity analyses adjusting for age, IQ, and per-protocol analyses produced consistent results. Conclusion This is the first large-scale randomized, controlled trial demonstrating efficacy of THR for the ASD population, and findings are consistent with previous equine-assisted intervention studies. Clinical trial registration information Trial of Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder; http://clinicaltrials.gov/; NCT02301195. PMID:26088658
Yerasi, Charan; Baker, Nevin C; Jonnalagadda, Anil K; Torguson, Rebecca; Singh, Suman; Vies, Judith; Waksman, Ron
The screening of patients referred for the Symplicity Renal-Denervation Catheter Therapy on Resistant Hypertension (SYMPLICITY HTN-3) trial was rigorous, with many found not eligible to participate. We investigate patients who were not included in the trial and evaluate their current hypertensive (HTN) therapy, control and clinical status. A retrospective review and telephone interview was performed 8-10 months postscreening on 45 patients and their referring providers who were ultimately not included. Patients were grouped into 4 categories: (1) noninterest; (2) excluded (not meeting inclusion criteria); (3) screen failure (excluded during screening visits due to adequate blood pressure control guided by HTN specialist); or (4) referred after enrollment closure. Primary outcomes evaluated included current anti-HTN management and clinical outcomes. This population consisted of 42% males, mean age 65 ± 5 years, 78% African American, 64% diabetic, and 21% chronic kidney disease. Primary referral basis included cardiology (44%), nephrology (30%), and primary care (26%). At time of follow-up, 20% had continued resistant HTN while most of the patients had controlled HTN (60%); with highest success rates among the screen failure group (88%) who also had the lowest average systolic blood pressure (137 ± 11 mm of Hg) when compared to other groups (P = .04). Average number of medications was lowest in the screen failure group (2.8 ± 1.6, P = .07). Resistant and/or uncontrolled HTN was most prevalent in the noninterest or excluded groups, as were hospitalization for cardiovascular and HTN urgency/emergency. This study highlights the disparity of HTN control and treatment in daily practice compared with clinical trials, and confirms a need for vigilant screening of those considered candidates for renal denervation.
Semprini, Alex; Corin, Andrew; Sheahan, Davitt; Tofield, Christopher; Helm, Colin; Montgomery, Barney; Fingleton, James; Weatherall, Mark; Beasley, Richard
Objective To investigate the efficacy of Honevo, a topical 90% medical-grade kanuka honey, and 10% glycerine (honey product) as a treatment for facial acne. Design Randomised controlled trial with single blind assessment of primary outcome variable. Setting Outpatient primary care from 3 New Zealand localities. Participants Of 136 participants aged between 16 and 40 years with a diagnosis of acne and baseline Investigator's Global Assessment (IGA) for acne score of ≥2.68, participants were randomised to each treatment arm. Interventions All participants applied Protex, a triclocarban-based antibacterial soap twice daily for 12 weeks. Participants randomised to the honey product treatment arm applied this directly after washing off the antibacterial soap, twice daily for 12 weeks. Outcome measures The primary outcome was ≥2 point decrease in IGA score from baseline at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included mean lesion counts and changes in subject-rated acne improvement and severity at weeks 4 and 12, and withdrawals for worsening acne. Results 4/53 (7.6%) participants in the honey product group and 1/53 (1.9%) of participants in the control group had a ≥ 2 improvement in IGA score at week 12, compared with baseline, OR (95% CI) for improvement 4.2 (0.5 to 39.3), p=0.17. There were 15 and 14 participants who withdrew from the honey product group and control group, respectively. Conclusions This randomised controlled trial did not find evidence that addition of medical-grade kanuka honey in combination with 10% glycerine to standard antibacterial soap treatment is more effective than the use of antibacterial soap alone in the treatment of acne. Trial registration number ACTRN12614000003673; Results. PMID:26832428
Paul, Sanjoy K.
Background Low activity levels in inpatient rehabilitation are associated with adverse outcomes. The study aimed to test whether activity levels can be increased by the provision of monitored activity data to patients and clinicians in the context of explicit goal setting. Methods A randomized controlled trial in three sites in Australia included 255 inpatients aged 60 and older who had a rehabilitation goal to become ambulant. The primary outcome was patients’ walking time measured by accelerometers during the rehabilitation admission. Walking times from accelerometry were made available daily to treating therapists and intervention participants to motivate patients to improve incidental activity levels and reach set goals. For the control group, ‘usual care’ was followed, including the setting of mobility goals; however, for this group, neither staff nor patients received data on walking times to aid the setting of daily walking time targets. Results The median daily walking time in the intervention group increased from 10.3 minutes at baseline to 32.1 minutes at day 28, compared with an increase from 9.5 to 26.5 minutes per day in the control group. Subjects in the intervention group had significantly higher non-therapy walking time by about 7 minutes [mean (95% CI): 24.6 (21.7, 27.4)] compared to those in the control group [mean(95% CI): 17.3 (14.4, 20.3)] (p = 0.001). Conclusions Daily feedback to patients and therapists using an accelerometer increased walking times during rehabilitation admissions. The results of this study suggest objective monitoring of activity levels could provide clinicians with information on clinically important, mobility-related activities to assist goal setting. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000034932 http://www.ANZCTR.org.au/ PMID:27564857
Kryzhanovskaya, Ludmila; Schulz, Charles; McDougle, Christopher; Frazier, Jean; Dittman, Ralf; Robertson-Plouch, Carol; Bauer, Theresa; Xu, Wen; Wang, Wei; Carlson, Janice; Tohen, Mauricio
The efficacy of olanzapine in treating schizophrenia was tested through a placebo-controlled trial involving one hundred seven inpatient and outpatients adolescents. Patients who took olanzapine experienced significant symptom improvement.
In this commentary, developments related to conducting randomized controlled trials in authentic preschool settings that include young children with disabilities are discussed in relation to the Strain and Bovey study.
Objective. A systematic review of the effect of chromium supplementation on glucose metabolism and lipid levels. Research Design and Methods. Literature search conducted in MEDLINE and Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau. Eligible studies were English language randomized controlled trials of chromium ...
Background Obesity is a growing global issue that is linked to cognitive and psychological deficits. Objective This preliminary study investigated the efficacy of training to improve inhibitory control (IC), a process linked to overeating, on consumption and cognitive control factors. Methods This study utilized a multisession mobile phone–based intervention to train IC in an overweight and obese population using a randomized waitlist-control design. A combination of self-assessment questionnaires and psychophysiological measures was used to assess the efficacy of the intervention in terms of improved general IC and modified food consumption after training. Attitudes toward food were also assessed to determine their mediating role in food choices. A total of 58 participants (47 female) completed 2 assessment sessions 3 weeks apart, with 2 weeks of intervention training for the training group during this time. The groups did not differ in baseline demographics including age, body mass index, and inhibitory control. Results Inhibitory control ability improved across the training sessions, with increases in P3 amplitude implying increased cognitive control over responses. Inhibitory control training was associated with increased healthy and reduced unhealthy food consumption in a taste test and in the week following training, as measured by the Healthy Eating Quiz and the food consumption test. Cognitive restraint was enhanced after training for the training but not the waitlist condition in the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, implying that attempts to avoid unhealthy foods in the future will be easier for the training group participants. Conclusions Inhibitory control training delivered via a purpose-designed mobile phone app is easy to complete, is convenient, and can increase cognitive restraint and reduce unhealthy food consumption. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12616000263493; http
Yu, Jihnhee; Hutson, Alan D; Siddiqui, Adnan H; Kedron, Mary A
In some small clinical trials, toxicity is not a primary endpoint; however, it often has dire effects on patients' quality of life and is even life-threatening. For such clinical trials, rigorous control of the overall incidence of adverse events is desirable, while simultaneously collecting safety information. In this article, we propose group sequential toxicity monitoring strategies to control overall toxicity incidents below a certain level as opposed to performing hypothesis testing, which can be incorporated into an existing study design based on the primary endpoint. We consider two sequential methods: a non-Bayesian approach in which stopping rules are obtained based on the 'future' probability of an excessive toxicity rate; and a Bayesian adaptation modifying the proposed non-Bayesian approach, which can use the information obtained at interim analyses. Through an extensive Monte Carlo study, we show that the Bayesian approach often provides better control of the overall toxicity rate than the non-Bayesian approach. We also investigate adequate toxicity estimation after the studies. We demonstrate the applicability of our proposed methods in controlling the symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage rate for treating acute ischemic stroke patients.
Marschner, Ian C
Clinical trials are often designed to compare several treatments with a common control arm in pairwise fashion. In this paper we study optimal designs for such studies, based on minimizing the total number of patients required to achieve a given level of power. A common approach when designing studies to compare several treatments with a control is to achieve the desired power for each individual pairwise treatment comparison. However, it is often more appropriate to characterize power in terms of the family of null hypotheses being tested, and to control the probability of rejecting all, or alternatively any, of these individual hypotheses. While all approaches lead to unbalanced designs with more patients allocated to the control arm, it is found that the optimal design and required number of patients can vary substantially depending on the chosen characterization of power. The methods make allowance for both continuous and binary outcomes and are illustrated with reference to two clinical trials, one involving multiple doses compared to placebo and the other involving combination therapy compared to mono-therapies. In one example a 55% reduction in sample size is achieved through an optimal design combined with the appropriate characterization of power. PMID:17323312
Kilama, Wen L
Health research ethics has its roots in protecting individuals participating in clinical trials. There is, however, nascent interest in ethics in public health, although it does not yet cover ethics in the development of public health products. The paper reviews the history of the development of malaria vector interventions, which initially aimed at promoting colonial interests. Attempts at eradicating malaria in Africa ended in 1969, and DDT, the leading malaria vector control tool was banned soon after. Insecticide Treated Nets, which later gave rise to Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets have resurrected malaria mosquito vector control, and their development has set new benchmarks, which it is suggested should be followed by all vector control tools under development. Furthermore, DDT has been exonerated and is back in the vector control arsenal. New tools under development include the sterile male technique, genetically modified mosquitoes, entomopathogenic fungi, and odorants.The paper proposes that these new tools be tested in community settings, abiding by all the leading bioethical principles, and calls for the development and implementation of international ethical guidelines for trials in public health.
Sahlen, Klas-Göran; Dahlgren, Lars; Hellner, Britt Mari; Stenlund, Hans; Lindholm, Lars
Background There is a debate on whether preventive home visits to older people have any impact. This study was undertaken to investigate whether preventive home visits by professional health workers to older persons can postpone mortality in a Swedish context. Method A controlled trial in a small community in the north of Sweden. Participants are healthy pensioners aged 75 years and over. 196 pensioners were selected as the intervention group and 346 as the control group. The intervention, two visits per year, lasted two years. Results During the intervention, mortality was 27 per 1000 in the intervention group and 48 per 1000 in the control group. The incidence rate ratio for the control group IR2000–2001 was 1,79 (95%CI = 0,94–3,40). Analysing the data with an "on treatment approach" gave a significant result, 2,31 (95%CI = 1,07–5,02) After the trial the difference between the groups disappeared. Conclusion Preventive home visits in a healthy older population can postpone mortality in a Swedish context if they are carried out by professional health-workers in a structured way. When the home visit programme ended the effect on mortality disappeared. These findings are dependent on contextual factors that make it difficult to form general policy recommendations. PMID:16945128
Guardino, Christine M; Dunkel Schetter, Christine; Bower, Julienne E; Lu, Michael C; Smalley, Susan L
This randomised controlled pilot trial tested a six-week mindfulness-based intervention in a sample of pregnant women experiencing high levels of perceived stress and pregnancy anxiety. Forty-seven women enrolled between 10 and 25 weeks gestation were randomly assigned to either a series of weekly Mindful Awareness Practices classes (n = 24) with home practice or to a reading control condition (n = 23). Hierarchical linear models of between-group differences in change over time demonstrated that participants in the mindfulness intervention experienced larger decreases from pre-to post-intervention in pregnancy-specific anxiety and pregnancy-related anxiety (PRA) than participants in the reading control condition. However, these effects were not sustained through follow-up at six weeks post-intervention. Participants in both groups experienced increased mindfulness, as well as decreased perceived stress and state anxiety over the course of the intervention and follow-up periods. This study is one of the first randomised controlled pilot trials of a mindfulness meditation intervention during pregnancy and provides some evidence that mindfulness training during pregnancy may effectively reduce PRA and worry. We discuss some of the dilemmas in pursuing this translational strategy and offer suggestions for researchers interested in conducting mind-body interventions during pregnancy. PMID:24180264
Background Excessive alcohol use is a widespread problem in many countries, especially among young people. To reach more people engaging in high-risk drinking behaviors, a number of online programs have been developed in recent years. Change Your Drinking is a German, diary-based, fully automated alcohol intervention. In 2010, a revised version of the program was developed. It is more strongly oriented to concepts of relapse prevention than the previous version, includes more feedback, and offers more possibilities to interact with the program. Moreover, the program duration was extended from 10 to 14 days. Objective This paper examines whether the revised version of Change Your Drinking is more effective in reducing alcohol consumption than the original version. Methods The effectiveness of both program versions was compared in a Web-based, open, randomized controlled trial with follow-up surveys 6 weeks and 3 months after registration. Participants were recruited online and were randomly assigned to either the original or the revised version of Change Your Drinking. The following self-assessed outcomes were used: alcohol use days, alcohol intake in grams, the occurrence of binge drinking and risky drinking (all referring to the past 7 days prior to each survey), and the number of alcohol-related problems. Results A total of 595 participants were included in the trial. Follow-up rates were 58.0% after 6 weeks and 49.6% after 3 months. No significant group differences were found in any of the outcomes. However, the revised version was used by more participants (80.7%) than the original version (55.7%). A significant time effect was detected in all outcomes (alcohol use days: P=.002; alcohol intake in grams: P<.001; binge drinking: P<.001; alcohol-related problems: P=.004; risky drinking: P<.001). Conclusions The duration and complexity of the program played a minor role in reducing alcohol consumption. However, differences in program usage between the versions
MacPherson, Hugh; Richmond, Stewart; Bland, Martin; Brealey, Stephen; Gabe, Rhian; Hopton, Ann; Keding, Ada; Lansdown, Harriet; Perren, Sara; Sculpher, Mark; Spackman, Eldon; Torgerson, David; Watt, Ian
Background Depression is a significant cause of morbidity. Many patients have communicated an interest in non-pharmacological therapies to their general practitioners. Systematic reviews of acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care have identified limited evidence. The aim of this study was to evaluate acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care for patients who continue to experience depression in primary care. Methods and Findings In a randomised controlled trial, 755 patients with depression (Beck Depression Inventory BDI-II score ≥20) were recruited from 27 primary care practices in the North of England. Patients were randomised to one of three arms using a ratio of 2∶2∶1 to acupuncture (302), counselling (302), and usual care alone (151). The primary outcome was the difference in mean Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores at 3 months with secondary analyses over 12 months follow-up. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. PHQ-9 data were available for 614 patients at 3 months and 572 patients at 12 months. Patients attended a mean of ten sessions for acupuncture and nine sessions for counselling. Compared to usual care, there was a statistically significant reduction in mean PHQ-9 depression scores at 3 months for acupuncture (−2.46, 95% CI −3.72 to −1.21) and counselling (−1.73, 95% CI −3.00 to −0.45), and over 12 months for acupuncture (−1.55, 95% CI −2.41 to −0.70) and counselling (−1.50, 95% CI −2.43 to −0.58). Differences between acupuncture and counselling were not significant. In terms of limitations, the trial was not designed to separate out specific from non-specific effects. No serious treatment-related adverse events were reported. Conclusions In this randomised controlled trial of acupuncture and counselling for patients presenting with depression, after having consulted their general practitioner in primary care, both interventions were associated with significantly reduced
Katayama, Kanako; Misawa, Sonoko; Sato, Yasunori; Sobue, Gen; Yabe, Ichiro; Watanabe, Osamu; Nishizawa, Masatoyo; Kusunoki, Susumu; Kikuchi, Seiji; Nakashima, Ichiro; Ikeda, Shu-ichi; Kohara, Nobuo; Kanda, Takashi; Kira, Jun-ichi; Hanaoka, Hideki; Kuwabara, Satoshi
Introduction Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a fatal systemic disorder associated with plasma cell dyscrasia and the overproduction of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Recently, the prognosis